Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson speaks at the Surrey Homeless and Housing Society “Heroes of the Homeless” awards on Tuesday, Oct. 9. The awards recognized the City of Surrey and the Surrey RCMP. (Photo: Selina Robinson’s Twitter)

Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society

Homelessness society awards recognize City of Surrey, RCMP

Heroes of the Homeless award for those who have ‘given generously of their time, talents’

The City of Surrey and the Surrey RCMP were recognized as “Heroes of the Homeless” on Tuesday.

The Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society held its annual “Heroes of the Homeless” awards Oct. 9 at the Surrey Arts Centre.

The city and the RCMP were among those “who have exceeded expectations and given generously of their time, talents and resources to make a difference for the homeless or those at-risk of homelessness in Surrey,” according to a news release from the city on Wednesday (Oct. 10).

This year’s winners, the City of Surrey and Surrey RCMP were acknowledged for their “proactive approach in implementing new solutions to improve the health and safety of the most vulnerable people in City Centre,” reads the release.

“The Surrey Outreach Team, part of the City Centre Response Plan, focused on relationship building and worked over a two year period to house those in need in the 135A Street area.”

Recipients of the award, according to the release, included City of Surrey staff Dr. Terry Waterhouse, Jas Rehal, Dave Berar and Ricky Nijjar, and Surrey RCMP members Superintendent Shawn Gill and Sergeant Trevor Dinwoodie.

Recently, Dinwoodie, along with Corporal Scotty Schumann, gave a presentation to members of several other Lower Mainland police departments on how the Surrey RCMP dealt with the homelessness issue on 135A Street.

RELATED: Surrey RCMP officer says police need to develop trusting relationships

RELATED: Surrey Outreach Team strives to show compassion, target dealers

Aileen Murphy, who is a social planner with the city, was also recognized for her “ongoing contributions, dedication and advocacy to address homelessness in Surrey.

Board member, and outgoing Surrey city councillor, Judy Villeneuve presented the awards.

Last year’s winners included the Surrey firefighters, Jen Temple with Trademark Group of Companies and Kevin Diakiw, a retired veteran journalist with the Surrey Leader.

The Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society, which was started by Surrey city council in 2007, was created as a response to the “emerging trend of homelessness and lack of affordable housing in the City of Surrey,” according to the news release. In 2007, the city allocated $9 million from Surrey’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund.

RELATED: Council approves new Surrey Affordable Housing Strategy with focus on rental stock

The society, reads the news release, oversees the management and growth of the fund and makes recommendations about the awarding of grants.

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