The City of Surrey and the Surrey RCMP were recognized as “Heroes of the Homeless” on Tuesday.
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.
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.
Loved celebrating the “Heroes of Homelessness” today in #Surrey. So many have been working for years to address homelessness in their communities. Working together we are making a difference. #collaboration #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/DRZYJnOykz
— Selina Robinson (@selinarobinson) October 10, 2018
“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.
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.
The society, reads the news release, oversees the management and growth of the fund and makes recommendations about the awarding of grants.