IRCOM’s COVID-19 Response

These are unprecedented times for IRCOM. We have shifted our service delivery model to continue to serve vulnerable refugee families during COVID-19. This includes a mix of remote and limited in-person programs and services.

In compliance with all public health guidelines, IRCOM continues to offer remote programs and services for vulnerable clients.

IRCOM’s offices will remain closed to the public, and all programs and services are virtual until further notice. We continue to follow all public health protocols  including physical distancing, wearing masks, hand washing, and minimizing all direct contact.

Please click here to access our current on-site program staff directory or email us at info@ircom.ca.

Vaccination Eligibility

Is the vaccine eligible for anyone who resides in Manitoba, regardless of their immigration status?

Yes. This includes anyone residing in Manitoba, regardless of immigration status: refugee claimants, migrant workers, international students, dependent children of temporary residents, and undocumented residents. These individuals should bring some form of government-issued photo ID, such as a passport, in order to get the vaccine.

General COVID-19 Vaccine Info here : https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/index.html

Calculate when you could be vaccinated here : https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/vaccine/queue-calculator.html

New Service Launch

IRCOM has launched a new service in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Outreach Information Services

For IRCOM tenants and registered IRCOM participants in the community.

Modified Needs Assessment are conducted by phone by our Interpreters and First Language Team. The team ensures that IRCOM tenants and participants are aware of COVID-19 information and updates, and they ask a series of questions about food security, income security, knowledge of new benefits and resources, and children’s needs and wellbeing. If necessary, tenants and participants are referred to IRCOM’s specialized services (e.g., case management, high-needs youth supports, access to benefits, crisis intervention) or to other community resources.

Programs and Services

Here is a sample of IRCOM’s current program and service continuity plan during COVID-19:

After School Programs

  • ASP Children’s Programming will continue virtually.
  • ASP Youth Programming has begun virtually (post-Spring Break)
  • Staff have continued wellness check-ins and contactless distribution of donated devices to youth lacking technology, and distribution of activities packages to tenant children (crayons, colouring, games, etc.), including tech support for youth
  • Programs are continuing remotely including HEY program, Leadership, Youth Employment Program, Youth Program, and Peer Support
  • ASP Sport programming is following WYSA and MS protocols

Newcomer Literacy Initiative

  • NLI classes remain virtual.
  • Staff have continued wellness check-ins and contactless distribution of items needed to continue class

Asset and Capacity Building Program

  • Income tax services will be by appointment only, and take place by phone, app, or online with newcomers who meet criteria
  • Money Management Training continues remotely
  • RESP workshops will occur virtually.
  • Registered Asset Building Program/Money Management Training and Matched Saving participants will receive homework in the mail.
  • Potential Saving Circle and Individual Development Account applicants will be called to arrange one-on-one application meetings
  • Help with access to benefits such as the CERB, EI, EIA, will continue remotely as well as ID support and CRA My Account trouble shooting
  • To make a referral or appointment, please contact:

Housing

  • Eligibility for IRCOM tenancy has changed. Applicants must have arrived in Canada less than 12 months ago, as opposed to our previous 6 month policy.
  • Providing housing to vulnerable refugee families will always be an essential service for IRCOM.
  • Help with move-ins/move-outs, suite repairs/ maintenance will continue along with new tenant lease signings
  • All duties required for the operation of IRCOM House will continue in as safe and efficient manner as possible.

Volunteer and Community Service Program and Common Ground Project

  • IRCOM continues to accept volunteers. Virtual volunteering opportunities are available, apply online at http://bttr.im/otznj
  • Technology support is being provided by appointment to tenants, families, and youth.  To address the technical knowledge gap, IRCOM is providing 1-on-1 help to families with basic tech support needs. 
  • IRCOM staff continue to issue communication updates to current volunteer pool
  • Staff will provide support to international practicum students as the situation evolves
  • Virtual connection with Indigenous communities through Common Ground will continue
  • In-person Common Ground events and activities are being planned subject to social distancing protocols.

Greening Program

  • Tenants will begin preparing their seeds and soil this spring.
  • Donations of seeds, soil and gardening supplies are encouraged.

Child Care Program

  • A YouTube channel has been developed for tenants’ and non-tenants’ children, uploaded with stories, activities (new content 2x per week) 
  • IRCOM staff have continued contactless distribution of activities packages to IRCOM tenant’s children and EAL student’s children in community (word searches, crafts kits)

Community Resource Program

  • CRP is initiating remote case management and high needs support for tenants (regular or frequent contact depending on the family)
  • New Tenant Orientations will be offered virtually. Drop-in supports and Life Skills supports will happen virtually.
  • Parenting programs, Women’s Hi Tea, Men’s BBQ have been post-poned.
  • Early Childhood Development Hub (in partnership with Freight House Early Learning and Care) (ECD Hub) has resumed at half capacity but may close subject to public health orders.
  • IRCOM’s High Needs Support Team (cross-departmental team focused on crisis intervention)
    • Crisis intervention by phone and referral to emergency services if needed
    • On call 24-hour coverage for after-hours emergencies at IRCOM
    • In-person supportive counselling, in-person crisis intervention, accompaniment, in-person life-skills (for high-needs tenants and youth) where required

For a full overview of our model, see our IRCOM Vulnerable Client Service Continuity Plan

External Resources and Information

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