Learn about initiatives to reduce poverty in Surrey.
Poverty in Surrey
Over 75,000 people in Surrey live in poverty. Of these, almost 22,000 are children and youth.
We are all affected by poverty. Poverty expands health care costs, policing burdens and diminished educational outcomes. As a recent federal government report noted: "Eradicating poverty is not only the humane and decent priority of a civilized democracy, but is also essential to a productive and expanding economy."
A diverse group of concerned citizens and professionals have come together to take action toward ending poverty in Surrey.
Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition
The Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition (SPRC) is a multi-sectoral, non-partisan coalition of representatives from a range of organizations and government agencies in Surrey. The SPRC formed in 2012 and the coalition's mission is to facilitate collective action on eliminating poverty and inspire systemic change in Surrey. The City of Surrey is an active member of the SPRC.
Surrey Poverty Reduction Plan
Coming Together: A Collaborative Approach to Ending Poverty in Surrey
The City of Surrey received funding from the Union of BC Municipalities to work with the SPRC in 2020-2021 to update Surrey’s Poverty Reduction Plan and identify current priorities for collaborative action by the SPRC.
The Plan, Coming Together: A Collaborative Approach to Ending Poverty in Surrey, identifies the SPRC's four action areas: Speak Out, Plan and Pilot, Research, and Convene.
Connecting Community to Surrey Youth Leaving Care
Connecting Community is an initiative of the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition that is engaging the Surrey community to do a radical rethinking of the ways in which youth are supported when they transition from government care, at age 19, into adulthood.
The Youth Aging Out of Care in Surrey Report and accompanying Fact Sheet provide a picture of the experiences of Surrey youth transitioning out of care. The Final Report: Connecting Community to Surrey Youth Aging out of Care (2019) describes how the community supported our incredible young people from Surrey to thrive.
The following reports document the projects, outcomes and impacts from over 3 years of implementing the Connecting Community initiative:
- Building Community Report (2019)
- Youth Leadership Report (2019)
- Connecting Community Prototypes Report (2019)
- Youth in Care Housing Survey Report (2019)
The Connecting Community initiative is continuing to develop and test collaborative projects to support youth transitioning out of government care in Surrey.
Envision Financial Community Leaders Igniting Change (CLIC)
Envision Financial’s Community Leaders Igniting Change is a partnership between the SPRC, SFU and the Beedie School of Business. Grass-roots leaders in neighbourhoods throughout Surrey build their capacity to create change by participating in a weekly leadership program.
Low Cost and Free Community Services
Surrey Libraries has also created Low Cost and Free brochures. The brochures are in high demand – 15,000 of the print brochures are given out every year. The brochures address the recommendations of the Poverty Reduction Plan to increase access to information regarding low cost and free services in Surrey.
- Application to the UBCM Poverty Reduction Action Grant March 2, 2023
- Application to the UBCM Poverty Reduction Planning Grant February 18, 2020
- Surrey Poverty Reduction Plan: Coming Together: A Collaborative Approach to Ending Poverty in Surrey
- Fact Sheet and Maps on Poverty in Surrey
- Final Report: Connecting Community to Surrey Youth Aging Out of Care (2019)
- Research Report: Youth Aging Out of Care in Surrey Report
- Youth Aging Out of Care in Surrey Fact Sheet