Grace Kennedy photo Counc. Vera LeFranc (left), Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Marvin Hunt (centre) and SOS Children’s Village executive director Douglas Dunn (right) cut the ceremonial ribbon for the Village’s two new transition suites on June 17, 2017.

Surrey’s SOS Children’s Village officially opens two transition suites

The suites are part of a year-long program for youth aging out of foster care

SOS Children’s Village B.C. opened two new transition suites on June 17, marking the next stage in the organization’s program for youth aging out of foster care.

The legal basement suites were built underneath houses in Surrey’s Children’s Village, a group of five houses supported by SOS Children’s Village B.C. The organization operates independently from the B.C. government foster care system. It leases the houses in its Surrey village to foster families, and provides support for the caregivers and children.

The two newest transition suites are the last of five suites in the village. The first three opened in June 2016, 17 years after the village first started.

Related: SOS Children’s Village BC’s annual drive raises funs for former foster kids

“I’m a neighbour from just down the street,” Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Marvin Hunt said at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the two suites. Back in the 1990s “we had our neighbourhood going … ‘We’re going to have 10 families of rebellious rotten kids? Delinquents that are going to trash our neighbourhood?’

“It’s an exciting adventure to let them know this is part of the solution, this is not the problem.”

The suites are part of a one-year transition program, which is designed to help teenagers aging out of foster care to “move from dependence on the system to independence,” SOS Children’s Village B.C. executive director Douglas Dunn said.

“We know kids who on their 19th birthday, their foster parents handed them a bag of clothes and said goodbye,” Dunn said. “That’s not going to give you a healthy positive member of society.”

“We believe if our kids are ours from birth to the grave, we need to make sure they’re ready for the real world,” he continued.

The program includes life skills workshops, as well as access to the suite. Participants pay rent each month — $400 a month at the beginning of the program and $600 by the end — which they get back at the end of the program to put towards a deposit on their next home. They also earn part of the furnishings in the suite each month, so by the end of the program they have a set of kitchenware and furniture of their own.

“That’s the big thing,” Dunn said. “They don’t leave our program. They move from their first home to their next home.”

In addition to the transition suites, SOS Children’s Village B.C. also announced the creation of a $120,000 endowment fund, which will provide enough interest to cover the maintenance of the suites for the next 30 to 50 years.

In the future, SOS B.C. hopes to build an additional five homes on the property, each with its own transition suite.

 

Grace Kennedy photo On June 17, SOS Children’s Village officially announced the opening of two new transition suites in their Surrey village. The suites are part of a year-long program that give foster kids aging out of care the opportunity to learn life skills in a supportive environment. The residents pay rent, take workshops and leave the program with the suite’s furniture.

Just Posted

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

Diwali in Surrey: ‘Festival of light’ celebrations at several halls, a library, other venues

This year Diwali is on Sunday, Oct. 27, but Surrey-area events are held over a two-week period

People’s Party of Canada not finished, defeated Surrey candidate says

Surrey’s five PPC candidates combined received 4,213 votes

Guns, crossbows, ammo seized in raid on Langley home

Weapons also included stun guns and replica firearms

Surrey City Centre plan expands to include new proposed SkyTrain station

New developments in business district to provide minimum 50% of floor space for office, institutional uses

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

VicPD return Victoria fugitive from France for attempted murder trial

Sebastien Normandin, 49, charged with attempts to hit former girlfriend with car

Three sprayed with mace during altercation at Port Coquitlam high school

Mounties are still working to determine exactly how many youth were involved

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

‘Issue-by-issue parliament’: Expert says Liberals need to placate NDP to be effective

Scandals, social issues, racism defined 2019 federal election, SFU prof says

Misconduct investigations spike by 65% across B.C.’s municipal police forces: report

Reports overall up 15 per cent while complaints made by public down seven per cent

Homicide team investigates death of man in his 20s in Chilliwack

Victim known to police and attack likely targeted, IHIT says

‘Wexit’ talk percolates day after Liberals returned to power with minority

An online petition is calling for a western alliance and Alberta to separate

Vancouver artist casts bronze ‘replacement’ egg for defaced Dali sculpture

Artist Richard Forbes installed the new egg after the original was stolen

Most Read