Their arrival date is unknown so the Chemainus Community Refuges Sponsorship Team wants to make sure its ready on short notice to accept a refugee family of six currently living in Turkey. (Submitted)

Their arrival date is unknown so the Chemainus Community Refuges Sponsorship Team wants to make sure its ready on short notice to accept a refugee family of six currently living in Turkey. (Submitted)

Chemainus ramps up prep work for Syrian refugee family

The Chemainus Community Refugee Sponsorship Team is hosting a public meeting on Sunday, April 30, at 7 p.m. at the Chemainus United Church hall.

The goal is to reacquaint the public with the plight of a six-member Syrian family and their quest to resettle in the Cowichan Valley.

“They’ve been in Turkey sharing one apartment with two other families for God knows how long, we don’t get much information,” said group spokesperson Robyn Gerland. “We don’t know when they’re coming. We’re really caught in limbo.”

The group was struck about a year and a half ago in an attempt to provide for the family but preparation work stalled after information was slow to come in.

“We didn’t know where things were going,” Gerland said. “Now we are trying to revitalize what’s happening.”

Various committees have been struck and work is back underway.

“This coming Sunday what we plan to do is let the general community know where we’re at, let them know what we’ve got and then ask them to please meet with the heads of these committees to (re)confirm what they are willing to do in preparation for the family coming and once the family gets here,” Gerland explained.

What they really need is housing, “even if it’s just emergency housing,” she added. “We can’t rent a place at this point because they could be another year and we’d be putting out $1,200-$1,500 a month for an empty house.”

Gerland hopes members of the community both familiar and new to the project will show up on Sunday to learn more.

“It’s a whole community thing,” she said. “We want this to be Chemainus’s family.”