The Surrey Urban Mission emergency shelter space. Photo from sumsdaily.com
North Surrey will lose vital services for homeless and low-income people on January 25 if the Surrey Urban Mission can't find a new building by then. With their current location, the Christ the King Lutheran Church, facing redevelopment at the end of the month, the Mission is running out of time.
"We are out pounding the pavement looking for places that might have come vacant that weren't a week or two ago," Mission executive director Jonquil Hallgate told Megaphone. "We've got phone calls out, emails out, people from our community out looking for options, people who have heard our story calling and offering various options, but nothing that's worked out as of yet."
The Mission received a $1-million gift from the church to secure a permanent home last year. They thought they secured a two-year lease on a nearby location in December. But the day they were supposed to sign the owner told them the building had been sold.
Hallgate says the Mission continues to look for a new location after for January 25, but services like the legal clinic, ESL classes and women's group will stop.
Meals will be provided once a day from a food truck, and a nearby organization has agreed to temporarily house the 60-bed emergency winter shelter.
The City of Surrey's realty department is keeping an eye out for places suitable for the Mission. But in the meantime Councillor Judy Villeneuve says a new BC Housing-funded winter shelter is offering people who used to go to the Mission a place to stay, food to eat and a chance at permanent housing.
"I understand that BC Housing is working with those clients in the Mission to
find shelter or housing for those clients, as well," she said. "So we're certainly not putting people out on the street.