Businesses are being asked to help the homeless duck out of the cold this year.
The Surrey Board of Trade is reminding its members about a new tool to help connect people without shelter to the services they need.
Originally operated by the Newton Advocacy Groups Society, LINKLINE is now run by the Surrey Board of Trade.
Business people are encouraged to call LINKLINE at 604-589-LINK (5465) when they see a homeless person in need of help.
That line will dispatch social service workers to the location given to them by the caller.
A number of local agencies, community service organizations, and volunteers are taking part. Outreach workers will come on site to a business location and remedy the situation for businesses and coordinate access to services for people who are homeless.
So far it has been extremely successful, and during the cold snaps, LINKLINE gets about 10 calls a week.
Those calls are coming from business owners, RCMP and others.
“Even from the homeless themselves,” said Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman. She adds that neighbouring communities are also calling to find where they can get access to the social services.
LINKLINE is a non-emergency number, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (After hours, businesses can call 604-340-3899).
Instructions for users are fairly straightforward and include the following three steps:
1. Call the LINK Line 604-589-5465 (LINK)
2. Describe the location of the homeless person
3. The LINK Line operator will contact the outreach worker for that area. The outreach worker will make contact and offer services and shelter.
The following organizations may be able to assist with shelter.
- Surrey Urban Mission, 13388 104 Ave., Surrey, B.C. 604-581-5172
- NightShift Ministries, 10635 King George Blvd., Surrey, B.C. 604-953-1114
- Cloverdale Church, 17802 66 Ave., Surrey, B.C. 604-575-4208
- Hyland House (Newton), 6595 King George Blvd., Surrey, B.C. 604-599-8900
- First United White Rock/South Surrey, 15385 Semiahmoo Ave, White Rock, B.C. 604-599-8900