Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre. (City of Surrey photo)

ID clinic to help homeless seniors in Surrey

Not having identification can be a barrier for people requesting services

The Seniors Come Share Society has partnered with the City of Surrey to help homeless people – or people at risk of homelessness – get ID to access services.

Seniors Come Share Society program co-ordinator Taya Vantol, who works as a part-time co-ordinator for the ‘mobile community care for seniors unit,’ described the program to members of the Peninsula Homeless to Housing (PH2H) task force Friday morning.

“Our initial idea was to get a trailer where we could have showers and have some type of health care, foot care, haircuts, shave, whatever we could get,” she said to the task force. “Helping people, whether they’re housed or homeless, get the ID that they need to get financial resources and housing.”

The pilot project – an ID clinic for people aged 55+ –will be in North Surrey at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre (13458 107A Street) on June 13 from 12:30-3:30 p.m., and the Surrey Urban Mission (10766 King George Blvd.) on June 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m..

Vantol told Peace Arch News that not having identification can be a barrier for people requesting services.

An example, she said, was at the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program. Potential recipients were turned away due to not having proper identification.

She said identification can be needed for the food bank, income assistance, to rent an apartment or medical care, and residents may not have ID for a variety of reasons, including cost.

Vantol suggested to PH2H that the housing crisis hasn’t seem to have slowed in the city.

“We’re getting so many phone calls, constantly with housing. Constantly, every single day, we counted one week we had 80 calls… with seniors that have housing-related issues.”

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