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Surrey Homelessness & Housing Society announces $3.9 Million grant to the City of Surrey to support 3 major capital housing projects

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Surrey, BC – The Surrey Homelessness & Housing Society (SHHS) has granted the City of Surrey $3.9 Million to support three capital projects with long-term impact. Funding will cover renovation costs and long-term leases to support the growing needs of people experiencing homelessness, or who are at risk of homelessness in Surrey.

“We have been moving quickly to provide for the urgent needs of our residents as a result of the pandemic, but it is important that we also balance this with investments that ensure our long-term needs are addressed,” said Councillor Laurie Guerra, President of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society. “These funds will transition people out of homelessness in areas where it is needed most, as we continue to work towards our vision of eradicating homelessness in our City.”

The responsive grant will be distributed over 10 years to support the following capital projects:

The Olive Branch Shelter – 10732 City Parkway

The Olive Brand Shelter will provide 46 beds for men and women, with the intention of accommodating those who are currently living in the Emergency Response Centre (ERC) at the North Surrey Recreation Centre.

SHHS will cover costs of the renovation and lease for a 5-year period, so residents will remain sheltered. The Olive Branch Shelter welcomed guests on November 16, 2020.

The Cove Shelter – 10607 King George Boulevard

Providing 42 shelter beds for men and women, the SHHS grant will cover costs of the renovation and lease for a 3-year period. The opening of this shelter in November 2019 enabled individuals living in an outdoor encampment to move indoors and into shelter.

Newton Modular Housing Project – 13620 80 Avenue

SHHS will cover the costs of the lease for a 10-year period, providing 40 supportive housing units for men and women. This is part of the Province’s commitment to develop 250 new modular supportive housing units on five sites in Surrey. Completion is expected in May 2021.

As we head into colder months, the City of Surrey and SHHS want to remind residents of Surrey’s participation in the Provincial Extreme Weather Response (EWR) program run by BC Housing. As a result of the pandemic, shelters are following the Covid-19 safety protocols, including physical distancing.

When an Extreme Weather Response Alert is announced, to date, the following overnight shelter locations will be available in Surrey:

Nightshift Ministries (10635 King George Blvd) provides shelter for women, from 9pm to 7am.

PCRS (10453 Whalley Blvd.) provides youth, aged 13 to 21 years, shelter from 8pm to 8am.

Fleetwood Church (9165 160th Street) provides shelter for men and women from 8pm to 7am.

Shamai House (13327 100A Avenue) provides shelter for women, from 8pm to 7am.

The City is working closely with BC Housing and Fraser Health to identify additional locations for overnight shelters. An update will be provided soon.

Additionally, the following shelter locations are open every night, regardless of weather conditions, until March 31, 2021:

Pacific Community Church (5337 180th Street) offers men and women shelter from 10pm to 7am.

Peace Portal Church (15128 27B Ave.) offers shelter for men and women from 8pm to 7am.

About the Provincial EWR Program

The Provincial EWR Program is intended to provide time-limited, temporary, overnight shelter spaces. EWR sites open in response to inclement weather events during which the health and safety of homeless people living outside is at risk. Since 2005, BC Housing has contracted the Homelessness Services Association of BC to manage the EWR program in Vancouver and Surrey.

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

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The 50 Women of Options: Linda Hepner

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Linda Hepner, former mayor of Surrey.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are and your background? *

My name is Linda Hepner. Now retired after a full career of representing Surrey as a manager with the city, a three-term city councillor and finally as the mayor, I am passionate about looking for ways to help and improve the lives of the people of Surrey. 

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with?

I am the former mayor of Surrey, BC.

What achievements in your life are you most proud of?

Honorary Firefighter recognized for decades of support; Chair of city’s 2010 Olympic celebrations that resulted in Award for most family-focussed city; individual housing plan that saw long-standing 135A tent city dismantled and all occupants housed over 72 hours.  

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? 

There are many families in Surrey living at or below the poverty line and there’s a great need for affordable housing. There are more children in Surrey than anywhere else in the province, and many vulnerable families—particularly new immigrants—who require the services Options provides more critically.

 

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The 50 Women of Options: Luisa Hough

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Luisa Hough, Mortgage Professional, and Partner at Verico Xeva Mortgage.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? 

My name is Luisa Hough, Since 2004, I  have worked as a Mortgage Professional, helping people with their mortgages and getting them into their homes as well as working with them on their financial goals. I am the co-founder of Xeva Mortgage where our focus is to inspire, lead, guide and achieve and make a positive impact on people’s lives.

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? 

I am a Mortage Professional and Partner at Verico Xeva Mortgage.

What achievements in your life are you most proud of?

I  have two big achievements in life that I am most proud of – first and foremost my family – my daughter who just finished her first year at University in Arizona and her personal achievement and commitment to school and sports is something I am most proud of. My Son whose sole focus is school and hockey with great ambitions of becoming an Orthodontist. My second most prideful achievement is what I have accomplished in my business – I never thought that 17 years ago I would be where I am today with my business. My dedication, commitment, values, and relationships I have built over the years has led me to helping hundreds of families achieve their financial goals and purchase their dream homes.  

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? *

As a young woman, I faced some challenges along with adversity and it’s important for me to support other women who need help as well. There’s no comparison for what these women are going through or have gone through and being part of a good organization that helps and provides people with the tools to move past their circumstances and thrive in their lives. Affordable housing is a necessity and it promotes diversity, creates jobs, builds communities and provides people with stability.

What are your social media handles? *

Instagram

Facebook

What is your web address?

www.xeva.ca

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The 50 Women of Options: Rebecca Darnell

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Rebecca Darnell, Lawyer at DLG Darnell Law Group.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? *

My name is Rebecca Darnell. Before attending law school, I honed my skills in banking, as a court recorder/transcriber, and as a freelance paralegal at several law firms. This exposed me to a wide variety of practice areas including complex commercial litigation, corporate, commercial, family law, personal injury, estates, and real estate transactions. Immediately on being called to the bar, I set out to chart my own course. Recognizing a need for experienced family lawyers in the Fraser Valley community, I opened my own law firm and was able to draw upon my extensive background and training. I am certified by the Law Society of BC as a Family Mediator and Arbitrator and am committed to alternative dispute resolution.

 What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? *

I am a lawyer at DLG Darnell Law Group.

What achievements in your life are you most proud of? *

The relationships that I have built over the last 25 years with clients and the community. I am proud of being able to assist those in extraordinary experiences. 

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? *

I watched my mother die in poverty and recognize the need for affordable housing in the community. In addition, my work in family law has shown me how many women are trapped in unhealthy or abusive relationships because they don’t have the economic means to leave. Having a home validates you and makes you feel like you belong. I believe when you belong in a community then you’re better able to succeed. And when you’re successful the community is also successful.

 What are your social media handles? *

Instagram

What is your web address?

https://dlglangley.com/

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The 50 Women of Options: Christine Mohr

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Christine Mohr, the CEO of Options Community Services.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? 

My name is Christine Mohr. I have had my hands in social services work since I was 15 years old. For many years before joining the organization, I admired the can-do attitude of Options and how its services address the full gamut of what happens in people’s lives.

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? 

I am the CEO of Options Community Services. 

What achievements in your life are you most proud of? 

I am most proud of my family. Alongside my husband, we have raised two wonderful young people who both have careers in the helping fields. I am also proud to be working alongside the most amazing people at Options who bring their talents, gifts, passion, and everything that they do to support and build community. 

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? 

I know the impact that the inability to access affordable housing has on people’s sense of security and well-being. Every day, the Options staff see people struggling to find affordable, quality, safe housing where they can live and just be. Once people have the security of a safe home that they can afford, often other things also fall in place.

Learn more about the Women of Options and make a donation to this important cause by visiting the website: Women Of Options

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The 50 Women of Options: Suki Kooner

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Suki Kooner, Mobile Mortgage Specialist RBC Royal Bank Of Canada.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? 

My name is Suki Kooner. I moved here from the UK 26 years ago. I completed my business Diploma. I also used to help in our family Fish & Chip shops. 

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? 

I am a Mobile Mortgage Specialist at RBC Royal Bank Of Canada.

What achievements in your life are you most proud of? 

I tragically lost my husband when my two boys were only ages 10 and 12. The saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child” became so much more meaningful. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by friends and family that emotionally supported not only myself but my boys. We modeled healthy and respectful relationships that taught my boys core values. How to become accountable, self-disciplined, and most importantly compassionate. My boys watched as I worked hard to keep us financially afloat. I started as a teller at RBC, and even though I struggled to find that work/home balance, I was able to work my way up to become a Mortgage Specialist. I feel humbled and very blessed, but so very proud that I was able to show my boys that no matter what life throws at you, with hard work and perseverance you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? 

Being part of (or supporting a cause like) Women of Options, allows me to give back and make a difference to other single parents. As a Mortgage Specialist, I find so much joy when my clients get approved, for essentially one of the biggest decisions they make – purchasing their own home. Knowing that I am part of the journey that allows these ladies to provide a safe environment for their loved ones is so gratifying, and reminds me of my ‘WHY’. Why I love my job. Working together with like-minded individuals towards one ultimate goal – to bring comfort, security, and a place they can call home. This is my opportunity to give back and show gratitude for all of the good fortunes that led me to where I am today. In a world full of so much Tragedy and daily struggles I would like to use my platform to shine some light into these women’s lives. Together with these 50 Super Amazing Powerful women and with the help of our community we can achieve our goal. 

What are your social media handles? 

Facebook

Twitter

What is your web address?

https://mortgage.rbc.com/suki.kooner

 

Learn more about the Women of Options and make a donation to this important cause by visiting the website: Women Of Options

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