Chelsey Grier (left) and Kyla Bains receive a $2,500 donation at last year’s Guiding Youth Home gala hosted by Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association in Surrey. (submitted photo)

Surrey needs transition home for Indigenous youth, gala planners say

Third annual fundraiser this fall at Surrey banquet hall

A gala event in Surrey this fall will continue to raise money to build a new transition home for Indigenous youth in the city.

The third annual Guiding Youth Home gala is hosted by Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association (FRAFCA), which plans to provide housing services to youth — those aged 19 to 24 — who are transitioning out of care.

The fundraiser will take place on Nov. 10 at Aria Banquet Hall, 12350 Pattullo Place, Surrey. Tickets are $60, or $400 for a table of eight.

“We are planning a night of fun and diverse entertainment to raise funds and awareness for the youth we serve,” said event planner Kyla Bains, the association’s Youth Services Program Manager.

More than $12,000 was raised for the cause at last year’s gala, according to an event post at eventbrite.ca.

• READ ALSO: Sweating it out: Inside an Aboriginal recovery home in Surrey, from 2017.

In Surrey, FRAFCA holds the contract for All Nations Youth Safe House, which has provided services to local at-risk youth for more than a decade. The residential facility, opened in 2006, includes six beds for homeless youth.

“Through our work with the youth that have come and gone from the Safe House, we realize the great need for continued support and housing for the youth we serve,” Bains says.

“Countless youth struggle with the transition into adulthood on their own, and currently there are very few options for them to receive the help they seek. We believe that providing a supportive housing with wraparound services for them during these years is an essential service that is currently lacking in our community, but together we can work to make this goal a reality.”

A “First Peoples 2018 Vital Signs” report, released in February by SurreyCares Community Foundation, suggested Surrey needs more services for its growing and young Indigenous population.

• RELATED STORY: Report finds Surrey’s Aboriginal population is growing, young and underserved, from February 2018.

The FRAFCA-hosted fundraiser on Nov. 10 will continue to raise seed money for its planned transition home for older youth.

Prior to becoming a friendship centre in 2012, FRAFCA started as Surrey Aboriginal Cultural Society in the early 1990s and eventually became Kla-How-eya Aboriginal Centre. The association is headquartered at #101-10095 Whalley Blvd.

There are more than 15,600 Indigenous people in Surrey — the second largest urban Indigenous population in B.C., according to stats posted at frafca.org. The city’s Indigenous population is growing at 7 per cent per year, according to the website.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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