Learn about the transportation, housing, income and support projects 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 Plan

THIS is How We End Poverty in Surrey

Surrey Poverty Reduction Plan: THIS is How We End Poverty in Surrey (2012), provides a comprehensive and practical set of recommendations to eradicate poverty in Surrey.

Poverty Reduction Plan Update, 2020-2021

Much has changed since the THIS Plan was created in 2012. The City of Surrey has received funding from the Union of BC Municipalities to work with the SPRC in 2020-21 to update Surrey’s Poverty Reduction Plan and identify current priorities for collaborative action by the SPRC.  

The Fact Sheets and Maps highlight key facts and figures on poverty in Surrey. Fact Sheets and Maps will be updated as part of the Plan update in 2020-2021.

Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition

The Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition (SPRC) was formed in 2012 to promote implementation of the Surrey Poverty Reduction Plan. The City of Surrey is an active member of the SPRC.

Learn more about the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition's work in implementing the Surrey Poverty Reduction Plan by reading the SPRC Progress Report: Actions and Achievement, 2012 - 2016 .

Get Involved

Are you interested in making positive change in your neighbourhood? Register for the Envision Financial Community Leaders Igniting Change program.

Are you a Landlord with a suite to rent? The Surrey ‘Every Door Leads Home’ team is looking for landlords with a strong sense of community to be a part of this exciting project. Find out more: 

Current Projects

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:

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. CLIC is accepting applications now for the January – April 2020 program. Learn more and apply now

Investing in Brighter Futures Surrey

Attending post-secondary school creates opportunities for children from low-income families to break the cycle of poverty. The Government of Canada’s Canada Learning Bond (CLB) program helps low-income families save for a child’s education after high school.

Investing in Brighter Futures Surrey is an initiative of the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition and a partnership between Vancity Community Foundation, DIVERSEcityFraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association and Métis Nation BC. This initiative’s purpose is to increase the take-up of the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) with low-income families in Surrey, specifically within First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and newcomer families.

Skookum Lab

Led by the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee , the Skookum Lab is developing new ways to address Indigenous child and youth poverty in Surrey. One in four Indigenous children and youth live in poverty in Surrey. Members of the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition are lending their support to the important and innovative work of the Skookum Lab.  

All On Board Campaign

The SPRC has long advocated for the need for affordable transit fares for Surrey residents living in low-income. The SPRC endorsed the All On Board campaign , which calls for affordable and accessible transit based on income in Metro Vancouver. The SPRC continues to participate in this broad-based alliance. 

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.

Council Reports

Connected Strategies

Key Documents