Michael and Ann Wilson of Surrey’s Phoenix Society, which helps people who are homeless or fighting addiction, will receive honorary degrees from Kwantlen Polytechnic University for their work in the community.
The couple will receive these honours on May 31. He is the founder and executive director of the Phoenix Society and in 2015 was named Surrey’s Citizen of the Year.
“Michael Wilson has dedicated himself tirelessly for our city,” Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said at the time. “The countless hours of volunteer work he has done for Surrey on so many different fronts have done much to enhance the health and wellness of our citizens and community.”
The Phoenix Drug & Alcohol Recovery and Education Society was launched as a non-profity society and registered charity in 1992. It rose over the years from humble beginnings into major developments such as the Phoenix Centre, at 13686 94A Ave. in Whalley. Opened in 2007, it helps men who are 19 and older who are wrestling with addiction and accomodates 28 clients in 14 double-occupancy rooms. There’s also the Phoenix Housing Programs at Quibble Creek and the Rising Sun Project, which offers transitional housing for men and women who are successfully recovering.
Dr. Alan Davis, KPU’s president and vice-chancellor, sings the Wilson’s praises. “Their approach is sound, their success is real, and most of all, they change people’s lives, which is why we are so proud to present them with honorary degrees.”
As it were, the Wilsons already have doctorate degrees. His is in Human and Organizational Development (Fielding Graduate University) and hers is in Transformational Change (Simon Fraser University).