Deborah Robertson, Executive Director of the NBDMC, says that the facility is looking forward to welcoming people back into the building.
“We are cautiously optimistic and we continue to be flexible as we go. We are certainly excited to see some clients face-to-face again,” she said.
The NBDMC connects new immigrants to Canada with the social services they need in order to securely settle in their new home. This includes getting children enrolled in school, running group social activities, or helping set up bank accounts and social insurance numbers.
Robertson says that she and her colleagues feel like they have the necessary safety measures in place in order to re-open safely. She says that they have installed Plexiglass shields, stocked up on hand sanitizer, and will only be offering in-person services by appointment only to reduce the number of people inside the building.
During the pandemic, the NBDMC has been offering virtual services to its clients. Robertson says that while she hasn’t seen many new clients, the centre has still been helping existing clients.
“Nationally immigration has fallen so we have seen a temporary reduction of new clients but existing clients are still reaching out for our support in various ways,” she said.
Although the NBDMC isn’t seeing as many new clients, Robertson says that their existing clients are in great need of the services.
“Obviously, social isolation is a big thing for everybody at the moment. But if you don’t have existing supports or family around you or if you don’t speak English or French it can be very difficult to get the supports you need,” she explained.
The NBDMC will still be offering its virtual programming the same as it has throughout the pandemic.