Did you know 20% of the homeless in Metro Vancouver are youth under the age of 25? Many young people couch surf and so their situation can go unnoticed as they are not easily found on the street.
Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS) identified a critical service gap to support youth in 2007. What started as a small housing search program that year has grown into the PCRS Surrey Youth Housing Services program. The Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society has been a supportive funding partner along the way awarding four grants to PCRS since 2010 for homeless prevention services, and capital funding to alleviating homelessness in Surrey.
PCRS began by offering a supported housing search service to youth looking to secure safe, affordable housing in Surrey. The following year, PCRS opened a Transitional Independent Living Program with 8 units in an apartment building. A life skills worker supported youth living in the units to set goals and build towards independence. PCRS continued to see a need for youth housing in Surrey and approached the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society for a grant to facilitate the opening of Bolivar House, a shared accommodation house in 2010, offering youth the opportunity to live semi-independently with life skills support.
In 2013 the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society played a key role helping PCRS purchase a house for the PCRS youth shared-accommodation program. The Society approved a Responsive Grant, and helped bring two additional funding partners on board to purchase the house. As the property owner, PCRS now offers a more secure living situation for youth. This real estate asset has the added benefit of strengthening the financial sustainability of PCRS. Youth moved into the new home in the January 2014 and decided to call the new home Guildford House*. With the opening of Guildford House PCRS has extended its capacity in Surrey to 10 semi-independent living beds, and 1 emergency bed.
With funding support from Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society, PCRS continues to build their services for youth. PCRS is now piloting a Youth Housing Outreach Worker who connects youth to one to one services and support. In it’s first year, this project has had incredible reach connecting with 602 youth. Funding from the Society is allowing the pilot to continue through 2014 during which time PCRS can document the need and impact to be eligible to apply elsewhere for long term funding.
Watch our video about PCRS and our successful granting partnership here.
About our Grants
The Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society is pleased to support PCRS over the past 4 years to expanded its Surrey Youth Housing Services program. The Society makes a difference in our community by funding projects that will reduce homelessness in Surrey. To date, we have invested in more than 60 initiatives to reduce homelessness in Surrey. We believe ending homelessness is possible by helping each other.
*Out of respect for the clients of the Guildford House, the actual home is not pictured.