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2018 Hero of the Homeless and Grant Recipient Awards


Members of the community came out to the Surrey Arts Centre on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, to celebrate the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society’s 2018 Heroes of the Homeless and the hardworking homeless-serving agencies in Surrey.

Minister Selena Robinson gave a personal and inspiring call to action in her opening address, and Mayor Linda Hepner shared the political will, collaboration and compassion that led to the ethical outcomes in Phase 1 of the Surrey Housing Project.



2018 Grant Recipients

Councillor Villeneuve presented eight organizations with 2018 grants totaling $938,950 for projects that will have a direct impact on homelessness in Surrey. This funding will help create 260 homes, as well as maintain current transitional and shelter beds for those in need. This funding will also support important capacity building initiatives focused on collaboration and innovative approaches to providing services to those who are homeless and at risk of homelessness.

The 2018 Grant recipient organizations are:

Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association
Options Community Services
Kekinow Native Housing Society
Lookout Housing and Health Society
Pacific Community Resources Society
Vancity Community Foundation on behalf of Home Front
The Launching Pad Addiction Rehabilitation Society
The Realistic Success Recovery Society 

2018 Heroes of the Homeless Award Recipients 

Councillor Villeneuve also presented eight awards to our 2018 Heroes, who went above and beyond in service to the homeless.

This year’s recipients were:

Terry Waterhouse: Director of Public Safety Strategies (City of Surrey) and a driving force for the 135a project, we honour his commitment to tackling social issues head on with compassionate approaches that bring people together to solve community issues.

East Van Movers: The moving team who demonstrated dignity, enthusiasm and compassionate support while moving individuals from 135a into their modular homes.

Sergeant Trevor Dinwoodie: Leader of the Surrey Outreach Team, we honour his amazing leadership, commitment and collaboration. He built relationships that were key to providing individualized plans for those living on 135a.

Dave Berar: Supervisor of the Bylaw Enforcement Team on 135a, Dave was instrumental in building relationship on the ground and encouraged people to maintain safety on the street while also meeting the needs of the business community.

Jas Rehal: Manager of Bylaws (City of Surrey) and another driving force, Jas was responsible for the Surrey Outreach Team at the City of Surrey and provided oversight and vision for his team.

Ricky Nijjar: Head of the City of Surrey’s Engineering Operations, Ricky was on the ground at 135a daily, providing necessary clean up of the area for safety reasons, working alongside RCMP and Bylaws and local business community.

Superintendent Shawn Gill: As the Community Services Officer for the Surrey RCMP for the past 3 years, he was integral in identifying the policing and social challenges on 135a and addressing them with policing strategies focusing on building relationships with the homeless people and assisting them, rather than enforcement. His knowledgeable oversight, leadership and vision for the Surrey Outreach Team was invaluable.

Aileen Murphy: Senior Social Planner (City of Surrey) and member of the grant committee for SHHS, Aileen has been a force in our sector with her strong advocacy and innovation, and integral to every supportive, transitional, affordable housing or shelter project in the City for the past 10 years

Linda Hepner: Former Surrey Mayor and SHHS Board member, Linda has dedicated many years of service to Surrey and it’s citizens. Her compassionate approach to homelessness in Surrey and inspirational leadership is truly remarkable. We honoured Linda at our event this year to demonstrate our gratitude for everything she has done for the Society and for the City of Surrey.

Video Screening

In collaboration with Novel Pics, Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society developed a video which had its debut screening at the event. The video describes the collaborative process and deep compassion that was necessary to implement individual plans for those living on 135A Street and move them into nearby modular housing. Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society is so proud of the project partners for having the will to try something different. They put the individual needs of the vulnerable first and lead the way home with kindness and empathy. The Society wholeheartedly supported this initiative and committed $489,733 towards the land lease for the housing sites. This is a first step toward a solution, and we acknowledge that there is more work to be done. Please click here to watch the video.