We’re working with our partners on a very special housing project that will add much needed beds and provide a unique and holistic approach to helping those in our community. Over five years ago, the late Bill Reid and the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association invited Options Community Services Society to Cloverdale to work collaboratively to address homelessness in the community. Options opened a 10-bed Cloverdale Hyland House, located in a small aging farm house.
- 16 bed homeless shelter
- 12 bachelor transition housing units
- Pet-friendly space
- Goal: $300,000
Today, Options is working with BC Housing, and a group of committed community agencies, to build a new facility that will replace the old farm house and provide more beds and transitional housing units. And we want to help them reach their goal!
A Unique Home
Transition studio units
The home being built is exceptional in many ways, as it recognizes that just providing a shelter bed is not an answer to homelessness. In order to break the cycle, people need employment, positive social support and affordable housing.
The twelve transitional housing units are a new component at the Cloverdale shelter. These studio units will provide a much needed housing resource for those who are ready to leave a shelter, but who still require social supports to help them stay housed. The onsite location of the transition housing will allow staff to sustain relationships and retain residents’ trust, which is important for those who require ongoing community referrals such as mental health services.
Pets & Working with Animals
One barrier that is sometimes faced with individuals who are homeless is finding a safe place where they can bring their pets. In some cases, individuals will decline a shelter bed in order to stay with their pet and ensure their pet’s safety. Their pets provide valuable companionship when dealing with social isolation — and in some cases, their pet may be their closest friend. Pets also provide a demonstrated calming effect on stress hormones and can help individuals cultivate empathy and a sense of responsibility as owners learn to meet the basic needs of their animal companions. Recognizing the importance of pet companions and the healing benefits they can provide to those experiencing homelessness, this project will be ‘pet-friendly’ with pets able to stay in designated shelter rooms.
The shelter will also be located close to the new City-operated Animal Shelter, which will provide volunteer opportunities for those interested in learning about animal care while at the same time providing a therapeutic and meaningful activity.
About Bill Reid
Bill Reid, “Mr. Cloverdale” (or “Mr. Surrey”) as he was widely known, was a man who “got things done,” according to his admirers in the business community and in both municipal and provincial government. Mr. Reid passed away in May, 2013 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was a former MLA, tourism minister, Executive Director of the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association and well-regarded community leader.
Mr. Reid embraced the problem of homelessness in Cloverdale, bringing the community together ten years ago to work cooperatively on a solution and ultimately inviting Options Community Services Society to open the present 10-bed shelter in an old Cloverdale farm house.
Today, the farm house is aging and the need for beds exceeds available space. The Surrey Homelessness & Housing Society, together with the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association, have launched a capital campaign to develop a purpose-built shelter in Cloverdale named in honour of Bill Reid. Mr. Reid would be pleased to see how his initial community-driven support for a shelter is sustained and an expanded purpose-built shelter will deliver more community benefit.
Donations to this campaign can be made online through the Options Community Services website.