2017 Heroes of the Homeless Award recipients
Surrey Fire Fighters:
Firefighters are often first on scene, and faced with the daily challenge of saving lives in the most difficult of circumstances.
When speaking with Mike McNamara about the work of the firefighters, he wanted to make sure that no one firefighter was singled out, that everyone had a role to play. This speaks to the strong team that they are. Surrey Fire Fighters have played a significant part in helping with the opioid overdose crises that has impacted much of the Surrey Metro area.
Youth Homelessness has risen in all communities across Metro Vancouver. Jen, in her capacity with Trademark Group of Companies, worked with residents and partners in Surrey’s Clayton Heights community to develop the Clayton Heights Activity Team (CHAT). This initiative was designed to make sure young people have a safe space to go in the afternoon and evenings.
Jen said, “We want to support our young people, to give them a sense of belonging and purpose by building relationships and connections in their community- it takes a village”.
Kevin Diakiw is a journalist for the Surrey Leader. Over the years, Kevin has written countless articles about Surrey’s most vulnerable. In one article, a Surrey mother shares the trauma of growing up in foster and group homes, only to be suddenly cut off support and to face homelessness. In another article, Kevin talked about the Fentanyl crisis and the Surrey social service providers who are suffering trauma from witnessing multiple drug overdoses.
We applaud Kevin Diakiw for his work as a journalist, in putting a human face to our most vulnerable and allowing Surrey residents an opportunity to know and understand the human circumstances that can lead a person to end up homeless.