Business

New roof for youth safe house

Left to Right:  From Kla-How-Eya, Pat Reid, Cori Kleisinger, june Laiter, Debra Hoggan, From Valhalla, Choran Stone and Harold Pinter, From Surrey Homelessness and Housing Fund, Vera LeFranc.  - PHOTO SUBMITTED
Left to Right: From Kla-How-Eya, Pat Reid, Cori Kleisinger, june Laiter, Debra Hoggan, From Valhalla, Choran Stone and Harold Pinter, From Surrey Homelessness and Housing Fund, Vera LeFranc.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

A local company, Valhalla Roofing, recently stepped up to donate a brand new roof to Kla-how-eya All Nations Youth Safe House when they heard that a replacement was needed.

In early April, Vera LeFranc, Coordinator of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Fund, received a call from a previous grant recipient, Kla-how-eya, that they needed help. The roof on their All Nations Youth Safe House could not likely stand another winter and had to be replaced immediately.  Without enough cash available to cover such a large expense, the organization faced a potential closure if they could not raise the money.

Knowing the tight timeline, and limited grant resources available, a call was made to the board of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society. Board member Peter Simpson, who is also CEO of the Greater Vancouver Homebuilders Association, reached out to his contacts. Valhalla Roofing responded installed a new roof on the six-bed youth shelter.

Every year the All Nations Youth Safe House serves up to 160 high-risk youth, providing them with the support they need to find stable housing, enter employment programs, and develop the independence they need to remain housed over the long term. In the 2011 Metro Vancouver Homelessness Count, Surrey had the highest number of Aboriginal homeless in the region, and an increasing number of unsheltered youth.

“It is through the generosity of people like Harold Pinter and Shoran Stone at Valhalla Roofing that we can make a real difference in the lives of those affected by homelessness” said Surrey Coun. Judy Villeneuve, who serves as president of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society. “This is such a great example that by donating time, skills and money we can work to solve homelessness in Surrey.”

For more information: www.surreyhomelessnessandhousing.org

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