A campaign to provide vital housing to women fleeing violence, refugees, seniors and others in need has reached its fundraising goal thanks in part to a donation from a group of maritime employer companies.
The group of waterfront companies largely operating south of the Fraser River, informally called South of the Fraser Maritime Employers, will donate $36,000 toward the new affordable housing project, capping an impressive fundraising effort steered by women leaders in the community. The group is comprised of Ceres Terminals Canada, DP World Fraser Surrey, Global Container Terminals Canada, Western Group, and BC Maritime Employers Association.
The facility, which will be operated by Habitat Housing Society, a sister organization of Options Community Services, will be constructed at King George Highway and 81 Avenue in Surrey. Once complete, 70 per cent of the complex will offer below-market housing rentals, starting at $375 per month, targeted to those with the greatest needs.
“Options Community Services is one of the most respected not-for-profit organizations in the South Fraser region. We couldn’t be prouder to answer their call and support their critical work building affordable housing for women, youth and others at risk of homelessness in our communities,” said Jennifer Perih of Global Container Terminals on behalf of the group.
The fundraising campaign, called Women of Options, raised more than $1.5 million through the efforts of 50 women in the community. The campaign was supported by Penny Priddy, a dedicated community leader in Surrey and former board member of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, who recalled the great corporate citizens in the waterfront community and reached out to them.
“For more than 50 years, Options has been working hard to help the residents of Surrey, Delta, White Rock and Langley, and it became the obvious choice for our five organizations to come together to support more meaningfully,” said Perih. “In making this donation, we hope to encourage others to consider ways they can support those who may be struggling in their communities.”
According to the 2020 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count, Surrey had the second largest number of people impacted by homelessness in the region. The new housing complex will cater to women fleeing violence, refugees, seniors, at-risk youth and others facing barriers in finding decent, affordable homes.
“What a wonderful way to wrap up our campaign to raise $1.5 million to build affordable homes for Surrey women and others in need of support,” said Christine Mohr, CEO of Options Community Services and Habitat Housing Society, its sister company managing the project. “Thanks to Penny Priddy, we have forged new relationships within our waterfront industry. Together, we are making a big difference.”
On April 8, 2022, Women of Options is hosting a fundraising gala to raise additional funds to support Options Community Services. The gala will feature international entertainment, dinner and dancing along with live and silent auctions. For more information about how you can support Options Community Services, visit https://womenofoptions.ca/gala.