Over the past few weeks Jenn and I have been compiling information on various social justice organizations in the lower mainland.
The following is the information we found on a few key organizations:
The Vulnerable Girls and Women Working Group (VGWWG) of Surrey, BC is a research based multi-organization based community that functions to bring awareness to the needs of Surrey’s most at-risk females.
VGWWG was founded in 2013 and takes a proactive approach to helping the women of Surrey. They partner with Elizabeth Fry Society, Options Community Resources Society, Pacific Community Resources Society, Servants Anonymous Society, Atira Women’s Resource Centre, YWCA, Surrey Women’s Centre, Fraser Health, BC Housing and the City of Surrey.
The project is funded by the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society.
The project’s findings were based on information provided from 50 women and youth and 12 service providers and data was collected between 2014-2015.
The final report (“In Their Own Words”) is available on the VGWWG website
The Union Gospel Mission (UGM) is a faith based organization that is devoted to “Demonstrating the love of Christ [and] is determined to transform communities by overcoming poverty, homelessness, and addiction – one life at time” (UGM)
Union Gospel Mission has multiple resources:
- Gateway: a program that targets individuals in the midst of addiction and struggle. Gateway offers a safe place to sleep and daily meetings with UGM staff where attainable goals are set.
- Meals: UGM offers hot meals 365 days a year. Meals provide nourishment, community and open up the door for conversation about recovery.
- Cornerstone: The goal of cornerstone is to transform lives through a range of supports and services. They host movie night, chapel and games nights. They also give out warm jackets and hot coffee. Cornerstone provides an opportunity to build relationships.
- Mobile Mission: The rescue vehicle of UGM serves people where they are at and provides warm clothing and nourishment.
- Children’s Outreach: UGM has a team of people that serve the women and children of the region. They provide space to play, learn and grow. They have an afterschool program, summer camp and offer multiple supports to families in need.
- Shelter and Housing: UGM connects individuals with housing options and practical supports to assist individuals in need.
- Recovery: The UGM offers multiple supports in addiction recovery. They have housing, employment services, counselling and workshops.
EFry of Greater Vancouver works to provide support to society’s most vulnerable. They have more than 24 programs of advocacy.
“At Efry, [they] believe every life has value. All people are entitled to dignity and respect. And everyone has a right to belong. For over 70 years that has been [their] legacy. And [their] promise” (EFry)
Support programs target:
- At risk women
- At risk children and families
- Women facing the Justice system
- Children and families facing the justice system
- Women seeking recovery and transition
- Children and families seeking recovery and transition
“Surrey Women’s Centre offers a wide range of Crisis, Court and Counselling services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and other forms of family violence” (SWC)
- The Surrey Mobile Assault Response Team (SMART): a 24-hour crisis support resource. The SMART team partners with Surrey Memorial Hospital and offers over the phone and face to face support for women who have experienced sexual violence. They support women to find safe shelter, hospital treatment and access to police reporting. Women seeking help can call 604-583-1294.
- Crisis Service: SWC conducts risk assessments and aid women in finding support. Women can contact the SWC for bad-date reporting and police accompaniment support.
- Court Services: SWC offers women support in navigating the legal system. They help victims to know and understand their rights.
- Counseling: Group and individual counseling is available through SWC.
- Supports: Women can contact SWC for clothing, food and shelter.
“Living in Community (LIC) is an innovative community initiative that works to find solutions to the impact of sex work and youth sexual exploitation on communities and to reduce the harms and isolation that sex workers experience.” (LIC)
LIC works to foster collaboration between various organization in the Greater Vancouver region.
They offer support in:
- Civil Engagement
“The Warm Zone is a drop in facility for street engaged women. There women will find a full bathroom, laundry facilities, lockers, clothing and personal care items, internet, telephone (including long distance), a kitchen stocked with drinks and snacks, a hot meal each Monday and Wednesday from 4:30 – 6:30pm, support workers and counsellors, access to medical and legal services, a monthly HIV clinic, a foot care clinic, pre-employment readiness support, advocacy, pregnancy support and help with obtaining emergency and stable housing. The Warm Zone also helps women who are living and working on the streets develop personal safety plans” (Warm Zone)
The Warm Zone offers:
1. Full Bathroom
5. Personal Care Items
7. Food (including hot meals)
9. Access to medical and legal service
10. Monthly HIV Clinic
13. Pregnancy Support
14. Safety Plans
“ANKORS’ mission is to respond to the evolving needs of those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and other blood borne pathogens; and to foster healthy, informed communities” (ANKORS)
- Support and Advocacy
- Harm Reduction/Prevention/Education
- Person Centered Practice
Pregnancy Options Centre
“The Pregnancy Options Centre (formally Crisis Pregnancy Centre of Surrey) has been serving the communities of Surrey, Langley and Delta since 1985. We offer a compassionate listening ear and information to women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy or who have had an abortion. We also assist families with adoption and parenting” (POC)
Canada’s only safe injection site, INSITE is a supervised and safe place for drug users to inject illicit drugs.
“Insite operates on a harm-reduction model, which means it strives to decrease the adverse health, social and economic consequences of drug use without requiring abstinence from drug use” (Vancouver Coastal Health)
Night Shift is a faith based organization that strives to connect people within the community. They provide hot meals and community supports 365 days a year.
Each night between 7-8pm they hand out hot meals, clothing, blankets and care packages. The organization seeks to create relationships within the community.
- Counselling support
- Support Groups
- Transitional Housing
“Beneath One Sky is a non-profit student group based in Surrey and Vancouver, Canada, dedicated to the awareness of poverty locally and globally. Its members reach out to the underprivileged through fundraising and volunteer efforts. We welcome collaborations with other organizations and volunteers, hoping to expand our cause worldwide. We were formally known as Building For GK, as well as Building For Hope, and Building Homes For the Poor.” (BOS)
The United Way works both locally and Globally to “create opportunities for better life for everyone in our communities” (United Way)
They focus on:
- Children Advocacy
“BRITISH COLUMBIA / YUKON ASSOCIATION OF DRUG WAR SURVIVORS
is a group of users and former users who work to improve the lives of people who use illicit drugs through user-based peer support and education” (Drug War Survivors)