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No significant increase in the number of homeless in Surrey

City of Surrey

April 23, 2014

Surrey, BC - Despite a population increase of more than 80,000 people since 2005, there has been no significant increase in the overall number of homeless in the City of Surrey.

In the 2014 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count released today, a total of 403 homeless people were found in Surrey compared to 400 homeless in 2011, 402 homeless in 2008, and 392 homeless in 2005. Furthermore, 65% of the homeless in Surrey were able to find shelter in transition houses, safe houses or homeless shelters.

“I am encouraged that given the substantial growth in population in Surrey that the number of homelessness has not increased significantly,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “I believe this is an indication that our community based plan and our partnership with the Provincial Government are producing a positive effect on this issue.”

Since adopting the Master Plan for Housing the Homeless in Surrey, the city has focused on creating additional housing units for people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. The plan calls for an additional 450 units of transitional and supported housing for people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. Another key area of the strategy is to add supportive housing, shelter and drop-in services that focus on the vulnerable population groups that have unique needs including children, youth, women, and Aboriginal people.

“The latest numbers show that Surrey is moving in the right direction by building permanent housing for the homeless instead of shelters,” says Councillor Judy Villeneuve, Chair of the Social Planning Advisory Committee and President of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society. “It’s our belief that our community made solution to focus on permanent housing options will give the best chance for the homeless to get out of the revolving door of temporary shelters or existing on the streets.”

The City of Surrey collaborates and works in partnership with BC Housing, Fraser Health Authority, the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society and other government funders and foundations.

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For Media inquiries:
Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor, City of Surrey
604-591-4519