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Surrey council tackles 3 reports aimed at helping the needy

Report to council says number of unsheltered people in Surrey as high as 520
Terry Waterhouse outside of modular housing for the homeless in Whalley. (File photo)

Surrey council received three corporate reports Monday night aimed at helping the needy in this city.

The first report, by Terry Waterhouse, Surrey’s general manager of community services, gave council a snapshot of the city’s “vulnerable” population. “Surrey has the second highest number of unsheltered people in the region and is one of the few communities that saw an increase in the 2020 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count,” Waterhouse noted.

“This data along with analysis of bylaw data on tent encampments and incidents reported in the city with regard to vagrancy, loitering, panhandling etc. suggest that the total number of currently unsheltered people could be as high as 520 individuals.”

SEE ALSO VIDEO: Inside Surrey’s new facility where the homeless can shower, use toilet, wash clothes, use computer

A second report, also by Waterhouse, asked council to authorize city staff to develop a Surrey Homelessness Prevention and Response Plan, report back with a status update by July 2023, and provide a draft plan for council’s consideration by the end of next year.

A third report, again by Waterhouse, provided an update on Surrey’s Extreme Weather Response facilities.

“By the end of 2022, there will be a total of 155 EWR spaces in Surrey,” Waterhouse reports. “Given the inventory challenges in our region due to year-round weather extremes, there is a need for enhanced capacity to provide respite and staff will continue to explore further options in the future.”

READ ALSO: Surrey’s extreme weather ‘action plan’ for winter has 140 shelter spaces in 7 locations

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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