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The Catholic Centre for Immigrants

CCI Ottawa

What we do

The Catholic Centre for Immigrants (CCI) has been welcoming newcomers to Canada since 1954.

We are the oldest settlement agency in the Ottawa region. We work closely with many social services organizations in our sector, local and provincial governments, and federal agencies to provide support and advice to newcomers to our city. During the pandemic lockdown, our staff pivoted immediately to offering services remotely.

We are located in the downtown core and also run two transitional residences for refugees. With the Federal Government announcing its intent to increase immigration levels, our services are critical to ensuring newcomers get the support they need, maintain their dignity as persons, and feel welcomed into the larger Canadian family.

The focus of the Catholic Centre for Immigrants is to:

  • Promote and facilitate the reception of newcomers to Canada
  • Sensitize the community to address newcomers’ needs and invite it to respond
  • Assist newcomers to realize their full potential in Canadian society

CCI’s work is supported by our Foundation, established in 1997. CCIF raises money from a variety of sources such as individual donors, faith communities, and other organizations.

We are committed to serving all immigrants and refugees, regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, or mental or physical ability.

How you can help


CCI runs programs that are not fully funded by our institutional partners. We host sewing workshops, conversation circles, and computer literacy classes. We also organize a variety of activities throughout the year to help give newcomers a sense of community and learn about the great city of Ottawa.

We also run specialized programs like the Children’s Program in our transitional residence. Children who might never have seen the inside of a classroom learn the ins and outs of attending school in Canada. We also assist young newcomers with homework clubs, job-seeking skills workshops, resume preparation, and we coach them on how to present themselves effectively at interviews. A new initiative is the creation of our “Youth Corner”, a dedicated resource room for newcomer youth to learn, socialize, and explore their talents and interests.


CCI relies on the generous giving of people’s time. Life in a new country can be daunting and frightful and CCI has a team of volunteers to offer friendship and advice. Newcomers and volunteers can share cooking, music, and stories. Often volunteers and their “matches” remain friends for years.
CCI’s goal of building a strong community relies on creating a welcoming community for both long-time residents and recent arrivals.


We help connect talented newcomers to employers in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. We partner with employers to help them meet their labour market needs by understanding their business requirements, finding, and pre-screening internationally trained newcomers, and offering cross-cultural training.

Ways to give

Monthly giving:

CCIF welcomes donations at any time. Giving monthly ensures the stability of funding for programs, allowing us the flexibility to allocate funds as best needed.

Planned giving:

Leaving a gift to CCIF in your will is a way to ensure your legacy and commitment to Ottawa continues.

Company giving:

If you are contributing to an organizational-wide giving program such as the United Way, you can direct your gift to support the work of CCI. And if your organization is looking to choose a single charity to support annually, we can give presentations on the work CCI does and its value to the economic well-being of our city.

Special appeals:

As a front-line agency, CCI provides support to arriving refugees caught in extraordinary circumstances. In 2015, CCI helped over 2,000 Syrians settle in Ottawa, and in 2021, we were front and center in helping Afghan families settle in Ottawa. With the crisis in Ukraine, we are helping Ukrainians who are escaping the devastation in their homeland. We know when we reach out to the community, people respond generously to support those in critical need.

Get in touch:

219 Argyle Street
Ottawa, Ont
K2P 2H4

Year founded: 1954

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $12,080,157

Myriam Mekni, CCIF & CCI Executive Director

Luise Czernenko Reid, President, Board of Directors


  • Kamal Jama, 1st Vice-President
  • David Tobin, Treasurer
  • Sister Pauline Gagne, Secretary
  • Larry Hill, Past President
  • Angela Williams, Director
  • Faduma Yusuf, Director
  • Crystal Shum, Director
  • Deacon Charles Fink, 2nd Vice-President
  • Christine Aubin, Director
  • Michael Molloy, Director


Federal: 68%
Municipal: 20%
Donations/Foundation: 10%
Provincial: 2%


National Captial Region and Eastern Ontario