OUR VIEW: More help on way for Surrey’s addicted and homeless

Surrey’s death toll from drug overdosing in 2017 was 174 people, second only to Vancouver’s 348 deaths

Everybody has been wringing their hands, wondering what to do about Surrey’s considerable mental health and substance abuse challenges, particularly in the city’s north end.

Time will tell how this story plays out, but for today, let’s give credit where it’s due. Fraser Health has revealed it will open a Mental Health and Substance Use Urgent Care Response Centre next to Surrey Memorial Hospital.

This is great news.

The centre is expected to open in 2019 and couldn’t open fast enough considering 174 people died of drug overdosing in Surrey last year and this city’s death toll is second only to Vancouver’s 348 deaths in 2017.

READ ALSO: Surrey overdose death toll jumps to 174 in 2017

READ ALSO: ‘Urgent care’ mental health and addiction centre announced for Surrey

READ ALSO: New tool helping save lives in Surrey drug overdose crisis

Moreover, on Jan. 12 Surrey’s provincial government revealed its plan for a 160-unit transitional housing project, in the form of modular housing, to help desperate people get out of tents and off the streets, on the 135A Street strip and elsewhere, and into warm, safer accommodations.

We hope these will be used to their best extent.

The provincial government has indicated it will replace Surrey’s modular housing, expected to be opened this spring, with 250 permanent and affordable housing units.

Among other initiatives, such as the Surrey Outreach Team, Surrey’s fire department is saving overdose victims with the help of software that tracks overdose clusters and warns emergency crews when particularly dangerous drugs hit the streets .

Solid efforts, then, are being made to help those who need help.

It will now be up to them to grab hold of the lifelines offered.



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

‘Do or die’ time for Whalley, who fell in first game of Little League World Series

Team Canada goes down to powerful Panama in Williamsport, plays Spain Saturday

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

TONIGHT: Grand finale of Concerts at the Pier

East Beach event set to begin at 7 p.m.

Eagle tree cut down in South Surrey for ‘The Eagles’ development

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

VIDEO: Surrey to host Western Regional Quidditch Championship in 2019

The fictional game in the Harry Potter series has become popular around the world, with 600 athletes in Canada alone

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

Most Read