A video of Surrey’s homeless camp along 135A has gone viral on Facebook.
So far, the video posted by Joe McNeely has been viewed 232,000 times.
It shows the large tent city that’s grown along the street.
”I think everyone should see this,” he wrote in his Nov. 24 post. “Is it in the news? It should be… A house a block away is selling for $900,000.”
More than 700 people have commented on the video, many calling for more help from the government.
(Warning: Video contains foul language)
In his post, McNeely links to a “Paying it forward, helping the homeless” event on Dec. 15, in which volunteers will be handing out blankets, jackets and clothes.
The event page asks for donations to help keep people along the infamous Surrey Strip warm during the cold winter months.
Meanwhile, the City of Surrey says its shelters are full.
Earlier this month, Surrey City Council voted to extend the lease of the temporary Boulevard Shelter.
“We are thrilled we can continue to have Boulevard Shelter there because they do such great work,” Surrey Councillor Vera LeFranc told the Now-Leader at the time. “Winter shelters have been open year round because of the high need, and they’ve had great success from the Boulevard Shelter in moving people on to housing.”
LeFranc said Surrey is trying to address the housing shortage, as well.
“We’re trying to bring in modular and temporary housing before winter sets in, but the Boulevard Shelter is an important component of the shelter we provide.”
In late September, Premier John Horgan announced Surrey would be getting 150 modular housing units to help house its homeless population, and another 600 for Vancouver.
“Staff are working so hard on that,” LeFranc said when asked when those would be arriving. “We have to identify pieces of property and we also have to service those properties so you’ll see those announcement rolled out over the next couple of months.
“I just hope this winter isn’t as cold as last year,” she added.
The 2017 Metro Vancouver Homeless count found 602 homeless people in Surrey, which is a 49 per cent increase from the last count in 2014.
Of the hundreds counted in Surrey, 114 were seniors.