The City of Surrey is working to ensure the city’s most vulnerable residents have a “safe sleep,” with help from BC Housing and Fraser Health.
According to a press release issued Tuesday, BC Housing has sent out a request for proposals seeking an operator for a temporary supportive housing building at 13425 107A Ave. in Whalley, with the goal being to have it up and running in the first quarter of this year.
Mayor Doug McCallum said to date more than 500 beds have been provided through modular supportive housing, shelters and emergency weather response sites.
Bruce Ralston, NDP MLA for Surrey-Whalley, says this new building will “make a significant positive impact on the homelessness crisis in Surrey.”
Last July the city, along with BC Housing and Fraser Health, received a $14.2 million grant from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities’ Strengthening Communities’ Services Program which makes funding available to manage the pandemic’s impacts.
Safe Sleep is one of six initiatives and features a 60-bed facility first set up in 2018 in an effort to relocate people who were living in tents on 135A Ave. Last October, Surrey council extended the lease on the 107A Avenue site and in November extended a temporary use permit to permit supportive housing there for up to three years.
Other initiatives designed to help homeless people are Nourish Surrey, Healthy Living, the Smart Cart, Clean Team, and the Safety and Community Services Network.