A recent report from the Surrey Vulnerable Women and Girls Working Group finds that stigma is one of the greatest barriers to accessing services for street-entrenched women and girls in Surrey.
Focus group participants reported regularly being stigmatized by health care practitioners, nurses, doctors, emergency respondents, police offices, and government ministry workers. Other barriers identified were safety, timely access to mental health services, trauma counselling, and stable housing, the lack of consistent treatment for addiction and lack of aboriginal services in Surrey. The Surrey Vulnerable Women and Girls Working Group, in commissioning the report, wanted to hear directly from street-entrenched women and girls about the barriers they experience in accessing services in Surrey.
The report, funded by the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society, provided a valuable baseline assessment of service gaps in Surrey for vulnerable women. The findings have been instrumental in bringing key agencies together to address the gaps identified.
The Working Group is now collaborating on the most effective and timely solutions to the service gaps highlighted in the assessment. The Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society is contributing to the Working Group’s next stage of activity with a $5000 grant.
Access the report here: