The Volunteer Spirit is Born –The Early Years (1996 to 2000)
Following a series of unfortunate and tragic events involving new immigrants and live-in caregivers, ten friends banded together to found the Filipino Canadian Support Services Society (FCSSS). Driven by the spirit of neighbourly cooperation, the group of volunteers initially aimed to support Filipino settlers in Canada in crisis.
The FCSSS established a drop-in center in Vancouver at Fraser and 51st Avenue. The diversity of the immediate neighborhood soon attracted volunteers and clients from all cultural backgrounds. The City of Vancouver soon took notice, and provided funding for the Society’s first professional staff – a community coordinator. The Society eventually saw the need to broaden its mandate and serve all cultural communities. It consequently amended its constitution and by-laws by the year 2000.
The Multicultural Helping House Society – Expanding the Reach (2001 and present)
With new programs and expanded community reach, the FCSSS was renamed to the Multicultural Helping House Society (MHHS) in 2001. Along with it, the Bamboo network – a 100% volunteer-coordinated effort with mentors – was established. In 2003, MHHS inaugurated its main centre on Fraser and 32nd Avenue as a one-stop shop to serve its clients. The 3 story building hosts temporary accommodations for newly landed immigrants, respite housing, as well as staff offices, rooms for meetings, counseling, and training/workshops. The expanded support services include settlement, job assistance, and programs for the youth, seniors and families.
Once the Society’s services outgrew its facility, a second office was established by 2009. The second site hosts the Fast Track employment services program, workshops for EI clients, skills development programs, job creation partnerships, targeted wage subsidies and self-employment assistance.
With financial support coming from all three levels of government – Federal, Provincial and Municipal – the Society expanded its main center in 2010.
By January 2011, the Society inaugurated of its expanded offices. It continues to draw interest from clients and volunteers, and goes on to evolve its programs to suit the needs of the community it aims to serve.
On 15 November 2015, MHHS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) to increase opportunities for newcomers and immigrants in the construction industry. This move is designed to uphold the Society's mandate of integrating newcomers into Canada.
Opportunities within the construction industry include: construction workers, architects, engineers, lawyers, office workers etc. BCCA is connected to over 2500 constructions companies within BC. The aim is to assess the newcomer’s education, skills and interests before connecting them to the right path of education or employment of their choice. In addition, newcomers will have the resources to learn and familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations that govern the Canadian construction industry.
This is a no-fee service for the applicant. It is funded by the Government of Canada (CIC).
For more information, click here.