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Help End Youth Homelessness

Surrey has one of the highest rates of youth homelessness in the region.

Surrey Homelessness & Housing Society invests in local housing and programs that youth can turn to when they are struggling, alone, and don’t have a family to help. Investing in our young people early will interrupt the cycle of homelessness and poverty, ensuring our youth a positive future. Please consider making a life-changing gift for a child today.

Catalog of Giving: Help for Youth

This giving catalog contains items that symbolically represent the work of Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society. Your generous donation will be used where it can do the most good, pooling it with other gifts we receive to provide help, hope, and homes for people of all ages. Together we will end homelessness in Surrey.

Young woman on a bus

Compass Card for the Bus and Skytrain

$35

Whether it is getting to school, to a job interview, a counselling appointment, or to work, access to transit is essential. It is a small investment with a big impact.

We established the Surrey Youth Assistance Fund to help vulnerable youth that, in better circumstances would have help from a parent. From bus passes, groceries, prescriptions, driving lessons, access to cell phones and internet, work clothing, help with education, and housing start-up costs, filling these small needs mean big steps towards independence.

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Multiple beds in a shelter

Emergency Shelter

$60

When home is unsafe and youth have nowhere to turn, a youth shelter means that no youth will be forced to sleep outdoors. It is also a first step to accessing the great programs and services in our community that are ready to help.

Urgently needed in Surrey is an Emergency Youth Shelter where youth in crisis can find a supportive place to stay and the help they need to escape their unsafe living conditions.

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Basic household supplies, utensils, towels, and toiletries

Basic Home Starter Kit

$75

From bedding and cookware to pantry supplies and toiletries, there are so many things one needs to start a new home. Giving towards a basic home starter kit can help a youth moving into their first home.

In 2016, Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society helped SOS Children’s Village build 5 new semi-independent living suites for young adults and young mothers. They have access special activities, music programs, help with their education, and access to clothing and household supplies.

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Young man on a cellphone

Cellphone

$75

When a young person doesn’t have a home, they also don’t have a phone. That means there is nowhere for employers to contact them, no way to call for help, and no way for those who can help to
find this young person. A cell phone provides independence and security. It’s not a luxury – it is an essential.

We established the Surrey Youth Assistance Fund to help vulnerable youth that, in better circumstances would have help from a parent. In 2014, we funded the Community Voice Mail Project that provides a local phone number with a personal voice mail service so youth can confidently apply for housing and employment, access health care, and be in contact with family. It is a small investment that gives a big step towards independence.

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Steel-toed boots in a contruction work site

Steel Toed Boots And Work Clothing

$125

Getting a job often requires equipment, uniforms, or safety gear provided by the employee. When a youth doesn’t have any money to get started, doors close on many job opportunities. Providing funds for work gear gives youth a chance to get a job.

We established the Surrey Youth Assistance Fund to help vulnerable youth that, in better circumstances would have help from a parent. From bus passes, groceries, prescriptions, driving lessons, access to cell phones and internet, work clothing, help with education, and housing start-up costs, filling these small needs mean big steps towards independence.

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Female carer with a teenage boy

Youth Housing

$125

Special youth housing provides “semi-independent” living in a home where youth live together with adult support workers who help them get through school, develop necessary life skills, and transition to adulthood.

Funded by Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society, Bolivar House provides safe, affordable housing for at-risk youth in Surrey. In this shared accommodation home, 11 youth live “semi-independently” with support workers who help develop life skills and provide the support needed to build towards independence.

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A van parked outside

Intervening in Sexual Exploitation

$250

Vulnerable youth can be easy targets for sexual exploitation, trafficking, and violence. Providing crisis service, emergency medical treatment, and outreach helps young people who are being exploited to find safe places to stay and a way to get off the street.

In 2017, we funded the Surrey Women’s Centre’s Mobile Assistance Program Van, a mobile outreach service that helps women and girls on the street who are sexually exploited. The van allows outreach workers to connect with women and girls on the street, reducing violence and improving access to medical, legal, and social services.

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Male Mentor helping a teenage boy

Youth Outreach Worker

$500

When a youth ends up on the street, it is because they have no one to turn to for help. That’s where Outreach workers step in: helping youth to find everything from housing and trauma counselling to food and jobs.

In 2017, the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society funded a Youth Housing Outreach Worker at Guildford Youth Resource Centre. In its first year, the program has connected 602 youth to the services and support they need to access safe, affordable housing.

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A door

A Place to Call Home

$1,000

Like anyone moving out on their own, there are so many costs: damage deposits, first and last month’s rent, a bed to sleep on. Helping youth get started on their own provides a big step towards independence.

The Surrey Rent Bank provides low income individuals and families a one-time crisis loan to pay rent or utilities when the risk of homelessness is imminent. It will also provide damage deposits and first month’s rent to help make a home possible.

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Leading the Way Home

Greatest Needs

$____

Your generous donation will be used where it can do the most good, to provide help, hope, and homes for youth in our community. Together we will end homelessness in Surrey.

In 2018, Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society will be investing $1 million in local housing projects that provide housing for Surrey’s most vulnerable citizens.

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Stacey’s Story

In 2017, the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society funded a Youth Housing Outreach Worker at Guildford Youth Resource Centre. In its first year, the program has connected 602 youth to the services and support they need to access safe, affordable housing. Stacey is just one of the success stories from this program.

When she was 16 years old, Stacey was forced to leave her abusive home. She didn’t know where to turn for help. She spent a month sleeping by a hydro tower and begging for food until she finally moved in with a friend.

Escaping the emotional and physical violence at home was welcome but came at a huge cost. Her schooling was interrupted as she bounced from couch to couch. Her feelings of self-worth, already damaged from years of abuse, had completely evaporated. “Feeling like you’re unwanted – that feeling of despair like you’re not good enough and there’s no point in living anymore – it was the worst time of my life.”

When Stacey returned to her high school, a youth counsellor encouraged Stacey to go to the Guildford Youth Resource Centre. She remembers feeling hesitant, fearing that she would be sent back home. But those fears dissipated when she was welcomed with open arms. “I came here, and everybody was smiling and laughing,” she said. Her needs became a priority – something she was not used to.

The program provided her with the resources to live a stable life. Stacey learned how to budget her money, to build a resume, and has received help with school work.

Stacey was able to complete high school, and admits that she would have not been able to do it on her own. Stacey went to college to study to become a Child and Youth Care worker.

For the first time in her life, she feels a sense of purpose. “The program has shown me that people actually care about me – that I’m not like a waste of space, that I’m wanted,” she said. “If I did not end up in this program, I wouldn’t be doing anything that I am now. I wouldn’t be as strong as I am now.”

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Questions?

Contact Stephanie Shardlow, Fund Development Coordinator
Email: stephanie_shardlow@vancity.com
Telephone: 604-871-5416