LIP Steering Committee Members

The Surrey LIP Committee is composed of 30 local organizations who come from a variety of community sectors and who have a deep understanding of the immigrant and refugee experience in Surrey. 

Organizations are represented by community leaders who will use their collective community and sectoral knowledge to provide strategic leadership and build community commitment in implementing the Surrey Immigrant and Refugee Settlement Strategy.  

Surrey LIP Committee members will also ensure the research focuses on local issues and provide the information and data required to develop meaningful community priorities and actions with sustainable outcomes.

The Surrey LIP is Co-Chaired by Councillor Judy Villeneuve and Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman and is coordinated by a Project Management Team.

The Committee meets four times a year and regular progress reports are provided to the Social Policy Advisory Committee, Mayor and Council.

The City of Surrey is the contract manager and is responsible for project funding and administration.


City of Surrey

Councillor Villeneuve, Surrey LIP Co-Chair

Councillor Villeneuve has been a Surrey Councillor for 25 years, and Chair of the City’s Social Policy Advisory Committee for 15. The City’s adoption of the Plan for the Social Well-Being of Surrey Residents, and involvement in a range of important social issues, is a testament to Councillor Villeneuve’s leadership, passion and relentless drive to create a strong and caring city. In addition to the LIP and Social Policy Advisory Committees, Councillor Villeneuve is the President of the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society, Co-Chair of the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition, Chair of the City’s Cultural Advisory Committee and Chair of the Metro Vancouver Regional Cultural Committee.

Why are you involved in the Surrey LIP?

More than 40% of Surrey resi­dents are immigrants, and about 1,000 people are moving here every month. We want to make sure that people get connected, that they get educated, that they get the services they need, that they feel they’re part of the community. It fits with Surrey’s public safety agenda too, because we know that if people aren’t con­nected within the community they’ll have a higher health risk or a higher risk to commit crime. As well, we have a special interest in refugees. Surrey is a major destination for refugees, and the largest recipient of government-assisted refugees in BC

The Surrey Board of Trade

Anita Huberman, CEO, Co-Chair of Surrey LIP Committee

The Surrey Board of Trade, in Surrey since 1918, provides businesses and organizations with economic opportunity, workplace development and education, international trade, government advocacy and business connections. The Surrey Board of Trade has 2,100 business members, representing 6,000 business contacts and over 60,000 employees. We support business, attract business and improve economic efficiencies for business through government lobbying. The Surrey Board of Trade is the go-to place for business resources and information. We believe that transportation and education are the two economic foundations of building a city.

Why are you involved in the Surrey LIP?

The Surrey Board of Trade is involved in the Local Immigration Partnership Table because The economic impact of immigration is an important topic in Canada and most especially to Surrey as the majority of the 1200+ new people moving into the city a month are immigrants. They are part of our human capital for our existing and future businesses. As a result ensuring they have the resources to participate actively in our economy and community through collaborative resources and organizations are an important part of the recipe. The collaborative work and communication of the Local Immigration Partnership that involves business at the table is leadership orientated.

Alexandra Neighbourhood House

Neil Fernyhough, Manager, Community Programs

Alexandra Neighbourhood House, located in South Surrey, has been engaged in community development work for almost one hundred years. We are a multifaceted social service agency, with a particular mandate to support the full integration of marginalized and vulnerable individuals into the wider community.

In cooperation with settlement organizations, we provide programs to assist newcomers to Canada in developing skills in language and cultural competency skills; and opportunities to engage with neighbours of all backgrounds. By being involved in the Surrey LIP, Alex House seeks to broaden both its understanding of newcomer issues in South Surrey and White Rock; and to improve our services to, and partnership with, newcomer Canadians.

Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC

City of Surrey, Human Resources

Lana McKay, Manager, Human Resources

The City of Surrey’s Human Resources (HR) department provides quality of programs and services to internal and external clients. These services encompass a broad range of City needs, including labour relations, recruitment and retention, performance management, employment services, compensations & benefits, occupational health & safety and corporate training & development. HR partners with other City departments to attract and maintain a qualified and diverse workforce.

The City’s HR department is involved in the Surrey LIP because we value and embrace diversity, and seek to ensure that all people feel welcome and included. We hire employees with diverse backgrounds in order to reflect Surrey’s vibrant culture. One of the biggest challenges newcomers face is finding employment. Through Surrey LIP we'll gain a better understanding of these barriers so we could deliver programs, services, and various training options that will help strengthen the integration of newcomers into the workplace.

City of Surrey Social Planning
(Contract Manager)

Aileen Murphy, Senior Social Planner, Surrey LIP Contract Manager

Social Planning is part of Surrey’s Planning and Development Department. Unlike other forms of urban planning that focus on the physical or environmental characteristics of a city, Social Planning focuses on the people and building a strong and healthy community. Social Planning staff work with the City’s Social Policy Advisory Committee to oversee the implementation of the Plan for the Social Well-Being of Surrey Residents (Social Plan). The Social Policy Advisory Committee is chaired by Councillor Villeneuve with CouncillorLeFranc as Vice-Chair.

 “Creating an Inclusive Community” is one of the key priorities identified in the Social Plan. The goal of the Surrey LIP, which is to build a more welcoming and inclusive community for new immigrants and refugees, aligns with this priority.  In the past five years, Social Planning has assumed a leadership role on a range of multi-stakeholder initiatives aimed at bringing about social change in Surrey.  The LIP provides an opportunity for the City to convene stakeholders on the important issue of the social and economic inclusion of newcomers.  The City’s Senior Social Planner, Aileen Murphy, is the Contract Manager for the Surrey LIP project. Olga Shcherbyna, a Social Planner with experience and knowledge of  immigrant issues and multi-stakeholder collaborations, is the LIP Coordinator.  

City of Surrey, Surrey Parks, Recreation & Culture

Lori Bowie, Healthy Communities Manager

The City of Surrey’s Parks, Recreation and Culture  Department (PRC) oversees the delivery of parks, recreation, arts, heritage and marketing services. 
The mission of this department is to enhance the quality of life in our communities by working together to:

  • Provide and facilitate the development of high quality parks, facilities, services and events;
  • Embrace and foster diversity and community identity;
  • Ensure accessibility and inclusivity;
  • Champion environmental and cultural stewardship;
  • Encourage and support individual and community wellness; and
  • Develop, deliver and preserve cultural and educational resources and services.

The PRC department is involved in the Surrey LIP because diversity and inclusion are key guiding values for service delivery and community engagement. We seek to ensure that all people feel welcome and included. The PRC department values diversity by celebrating individual difference and viewing diversity as multilayered, with each individual offering unique perspective, experience and ability. We value inclusion by ensuring that our policies, plans, programs and services are inclusive to all people. We are excited to be working as  members of the Surrey LIP committee toward the goal of strengthening Surrey’s integration of newcomers and building a more inclusive and welcoming city as this aligns perfectly with the PRC values and mission. 

Surrey Libraries

Surinder Bhogal, Deputy Chief Librarian

Surrey Libraries is a trusted, welcoming community organization with a mission to open doors to lifelong learning, information and ideas. We take leadership in promoting the value of literacy and a love of learning. There are 9 branches throughout Surrey that offer an array of services such as free access to books, magazines, DVDs,  e-books  and other online resources. Specifically for newcomers, the library has materials for learning  or improving  English;  story times for helping children read and learn; even programs for improving resumes and looking for work. Free Wi-Fi, Computer & Internet access is  available at all our branches. We also offer space to meet friends or study quietly.

As many newcomers and immigrants use Surrey Libraries, it is important for the library to be part of the Surrey LIP in order to  learn how to offer even better services. The collaborative  and community-based approach of the LIP is powerful and it is helpful to work with the different agencies that serve newcomers.  For a community to be strong and vibrant, people need to feel a sense of connection & belonging. This is a challenge for newcomers initially and the library plays an important role in helping newcomers integrate. 

DIVERSE city Community Resources Society

TahzeemKassam, Chief Operating Officer

DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society is a registered not-for-profit organization offering a wide range of services and programs to the culturally diverse communities of Surrey, Delta, Langley and White Rock. Established in October 1978 under its founding name, Surrey Delta Immigrant Services Society, DIVERSEcity has over three decades of service to the community. The agency’s mandate is "to promote the independence of new Canadians & build strong, culturally diverse communities." DIVERSEcity manages numerous funding contracts, approximately 150 employees and 100 volunteers who deliver programs and services. The Society offers a continuum of services which include Settlement & Community Programs, Refugee & Specialized Programs, Employment Services, Language Programs, Children’s Programs, &Counselling Services. We also have a fee-for-service arm that offers Interpretation & Translation in 64 languages, English Language Proficiency Testing for Canadian Citizenship & Skills Training course offerings.

DIVERSEcity works to support immigrant and refugee newcomers in their successful social and economic integration into their new Canadian community. With this goal in mind, DIVERSEcity participates in the Surrey LIP to advance collaboration with other community stakeholders, providers and public institutions to further this goal.

Douglas College, Training Group at Douglas College

Jennifer Kuenzig, Community & Contract Services Manager

Douglas College has two campuses and four regional training centres including two in Surrey. Its mission includes “respond[ing] to diverse community needs in a rapidly changing society.” Since 1992, Training Group at Douglas College has provided customized labour-market training and consultative services to a wide range of client groups through career management, employment attachment, language and workplace skill enhancement services.  Our Surrey Training Centre offers Skills Connect for Immigrants, Workplace LINC (language instruction for newcomers to Canada), Essential Skills courses, workplace training and community education. Surrey Learning Centre is a community learning consortium offering settlement focused LINC with three other partners; Immigrant Services Society of BC, MOSAIC, and H. Klein & Associates.

Douglas College sees the Surrey LIP as an opportunity to bring multiple stakeholders to the table to listen, learn and give input on how to continue to make Surrey a vibrant, welcoming community. We are a conduit for our clients and also take on the role of a Surrey employer.  The economic integration of immigrants is key to the City, BC and Canada as a whole and both the receiving community and newcomers will benefit from a greater understanding of challenges and opportunities faced along the transition.

Human Resources Management Association

Christian Codrington, CHRP, Director, Regulatory Affairs and Member Value

The Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) is your source for Human Resources information and services in BC and the Yukon. The Association is committed to providing leadership in HR excellence and, as the certifying body of the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation in BC and the Yukon, is responsible for upholding industry standards.  HRMA is the largest HR association in Western Canada with more than 5,500 members and features an HR job board, professional development, research briefings, PeopleTalk magazine, and a variety of other programs and services.

The HR world is changing. We are seeing many experienced professionals retiring. Qualified candidates are becoming more mobile. Our workplaces are increasingly becoming multi-generational and multicultural. In this environment, innovation and inclusion are emerging as essential tools in attracting talent and competing  globally. In the past, HRMA has been involved in a number of provincial initiatives aimed  at building bridges between BC’s immigrant workforce and HR professionals. By participating in the Surrey LIP, the Association will bring the voice of HR professionals to the project as well as hear first-hand some of the concerns to lead to improved organizational understanding of immigrant labour market integration issues.

Fraser Health Authority, Population and Public Health

Hemi Shrestha, Manager, Population and Public Health

Fraser Health provides a wide range of integrated health care services to more than 1.6 million people living in communities stretching from Burnaby to White Rock to Hope.  Our quality health care services range from acute care hospitals to community-based residential, home health, mental health and public health services. As one of Canada's largest and fastest growing health authorities, with over 26,000 employees, 2,500 physicians and nearly 6,500 volunteers, all intent on ensuring that when you need us, we'll be there for you.

Fraser Health provides care from Public Health Prevention and Health Promotion, Primary Health Care, Chronic Disease Management, acute services and Emergency care.  Examples of services include, Surrey and Burnaby New Canadian Clinic, South Asian Health Centre (in partnership with Surrey North Delta Division of Family Practice) and Diabetes and cardiac rehab classes in Punjabi. 

FH strives to provide high quality, culturally competent care to its diverse population.
Fraser Health is interested in partnering with Non FH services to ensure timely and appropriate care if provided for the new immigrant population.

Fraser Health Authority, Primary Health Care

AmritRai, Director, Primary Health Care

Fraser Health provides a wide range of integrated health care services to more than 1.6 million people living in communities stretching from Burnaby to White Rock to Hope.  Our quality health care services range from acute care hospitals to community-based residential, home health, mental health and public health services. As one of Canada's largest and fastest growing health authorities, with over 26,000 employees, 2,500 physicians and nearly 6,500 volunteers, all intent on ensuring that when you need us, we'll be there for you.

Fraser Health provides care from Public Health Prevention and Health Promotion, Primary Health Care, Chronic Disease Management, acute services and Emergency care.  Examples of services include, Surrey and Burnaby New Canadian Clinic, South Asian Health Centre (in partnership with Surrey North Delta Division of Family Practice) and Diabetes and cardiac rehab classes in Punjabi. 

FH strives to provide high quality, culturally competent care to its diverse population.
Fraser Health is interested in partnering with Non FH services to ensure timely and appropriate care if provided for the new immigrant population.

Immigrant Employment Council of BC

Kelly Pollack, Executive Director

The Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) is a provincial employer-focused organization that stimulates the integration of skilled immigrant talent into BC’s workplaces by fostering solutions that connect employers to immigrant talent, bringing an employer perspective to immigration policies and program, and creating collaborative immigrant employment strategies.

As a provincial leader in immigrant employment labour market integration, IEC-BC brings local, regional and sectorallabour market information, best practices and resources in employer engagement from the demand side. Through our involvement in Surrey LIPs, it is our goal that the needs of employers are considered in the development of settlement strategies and plans, so that skilled immigrants are more quickly and efficiently attached to relevant employment.

Immigrant Services Society of BC

Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Diane Purvey, Dean of Arts
Patrick Donahoe, Dean, Faculity of Academic & Career Advancement

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU)is a community-focused institution with a student body of 18,000. The university is characterized by a highly diverse, multicultural student population and close partnerships with its surrounding communities in Surrey, Richmond, Cloverdale and Langley. Shaped by its setting in these highly dynamic, fast-growing and ethnically diverse communities KPU is both mandated to “recognize and respond to challenges and opportunities within the dynamic communities of the Fraser region of British Columbia,” and “promote leadership by developing and supporting community-based initiatives that address economic, social, and cultural issues within an increasingly global context.”

The Faculty of Arts provides courses and programs in disciplines from across the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. Our overarching goal is for our students to become well-rounded, creative and critical thinkers: graduates who can write persuasively, who can formulate arguments and defend their ideas in conversation, and who are socially engaged and responsible, with an awareness of contemporary and interconnected human issues and a concern about social justice.

The Faculty of Academic and Career Advancement is the front door to the University for non-traditional learners who we support in becoming successful students.  Four program areas ease the transition into university education: in Academic and Career Preparation learners can upgrade specific skills in English, math and science, or obtain a BC Adult Graduation Diploma; Access Programs for People with Disabilities offers job preparation, employment skills training and work exploration for adults with disabilities; Career Choices and Life Success students gain knowledge/self-awareness through career assessments and meetings with potential employers; and English Language Studies courses provide academic preparation at varying levels for ESL students.

Membership in the Surrey LIP committee underscores KPU’s commitment to all its citizens, newcomer and long-time resident alike.

Oak Avenue Neighbourhood Hub Society

Nicole Ensing, Program, Manager

The Oak Avenue Neighbourhood Hub is one of Surrey’s two Neighbourhood Houses, and as such we are a welcoming place where all people can participate and belong. We are a place of home and hopepartnering with similar organizations for the benefit of the community, and offer a variety of services for a variety of people, including low-income people, seniors, families, refugees and immigrants.

We are involved with the Surrey LIP to learn more about the struggles that refugees and immigrants face when arriving and living in Surrey. We want to work together with Surrey’s refugees and immigrants, the general public, other organizations, and the City itself to make Surrey a more welcoming and inclusive place to live and build lasting relationships.

Options Community Services Society

Connie Hong, Senior Manager

Options Community Services (OCS) offers immigrant services, employment services, services for families and children, youth services, homeless and housing services, volunteer services, crisis line services and a host of related programs and services. OCS Immigrant Services provides Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Settlement Program, WelcomeBC Settlement and Integration Program, Moving Ahead (Vulnerable Immigrant Population Program) and First Steps: Early Child Development Settlement Program. In addition to providing direct settlement services to newcomers, a key role of immigrant services is to increase awareness of immigration issues and barriers to immigrant integration at the community-level.

As a multi-service organization, we offer added value opportunities for linking newcomers to a range of services and connections within OCS and to the community so that they develop a sense of belonging and feel welcomed and engaged in our communities. Participating in Surrey LIP strengthens our capacity to accomplish this objective by giving us the opportunity to work with other stakeholders to systemize local engagement and improve coordination of effective services that facilitate immigrant settlement and integration and leads to better outcomes for newcomers.

Pacific Community Resources Society

DevinderChattha, Director, Language Studies, Settlement & Social

Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society is a non-profit organization operating since 1987. As a community services society, we provide various programs and services including Employment Programs, Settlement Services, Language Services, Social Programs, Health, Human Rights Programs and Housing Services. Our services assist new immigrants, seniors, women and youth. We work diligently to provide responsive programs that address various issues within our community by promoting harmony and intercultural understanding for the purpose of building a more inclusive and mutually respectful society. There is a staff of over 150 throughout the Vancouver and Surrey offices; currently there are 50 active volunteers with the organization.

PICS is involved in Surrey LIP as a Council partner to provide guidance and support to  the program based on its long standing experience providing services to immigrant newcomers. PICS’ mission is precisely to support newcomers to Canada in their process of settlement and integration and help them to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers as well as other related challenges though a series of  culturally and linguistically appropriate programs  as those described above.

Progressive Intercultural Community Services

Semiahmoo House Society

Doug Tennant, Executive Director

Semiahmoo House Society (SHS) came into being in 1957 with the creation of Dawn School, an educational organization created to support people with disabilities who were not allowed to go to a “regular” school. Over the past 58 years, SHS has become a leading community living organization in Surrey and the Province.
The overarching mission of SHS is to achieve the following:

  • People with disabilities live self-directed lives in the community at a justifiable cost
  • People are valued members of society
  • People decide how they live their lives, and make informed decisions
  • The rights of people are protected 

SHS believes strongly in the right of all people to be included in, and valued by, their communities. Through our programs, services, housing, and advocacy, SHS works to make sure that the five to six hundred people we directly support are included in the community.

SHS is involved in the Surrey LIP because we believe that immigrant and immigrants who have disabilities should be valued and included by the community.

SFU Surrey

Steve Dooley, Executive Director

As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded almost 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is a leader amongst Canada's comprehensive research universities and is ranked one of the top universities in the world under 50 years of age. With campuses in British Columbia's three largest cities—Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby—SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 30,000 students, and boasts more than 130,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.

Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus is located in the heart of a culturally diverse and fast growing city with approximately 10,000 new residents per year and a foreign born population of nearly 40%. With a commitment to be an engaged partner and contributor within the local community, SFU’s involvement on the Surrey LIP committee is an important part of that process. The Surrey LIP committee provides an important connection to newcomers to Canada, and to a wide range of community organizations, all working to improve immigrant and refugee integration. SFU is committed to supporting the transition of BC’s new immigrant communities and involvement on the Surrey LIP has, and will continue to, positively influence SFU’s work in this area.

S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Surrey Delta Service Centre

Jenny Lam, Regional Manager

S.U.C.C.E.S.S. has been serving immigrant communities since 1973. It is an organization that centres on providing holistic support to newcomers, through services that include settlement, language, employment, family and community services and housing, our staff team has the language capacity of more than 50 languages. It is now serving clients in Surrey, Vancouver, Richmond, Tri-Cities, Burnaby, New Westminster, Fort St. John, Toronto and even two overseas offices in Taiwan and Korea. The SUCCESS Surrey-Delta Service Centre began services in 1997 and now offers settlement services in Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Korean as well as LINC classes.

Surrey ISIP is excited to be part of LIP as the initiative provides a platform to create a deeper understanding of the challenges that newcomer populations are faced within their settlement journey. It is through this dialogue and collaboration between institutions, organizations, sectors and the City of Surrey that we can strengthen the ways in which immigrants are welcomed into local communities and receive the services and assistance that they need to feel at home in their new city.

Assisting immigrants in their integration process is at the heart of our organization, and in particular the Surrey program. We strongly believe that this type of research and work is essential in strengthening the support that newcomers need to settle and integrate in Surrey.

Surrey School District #36

Catherine Remedies, Director of Instruction (ELL Welcome Centre)

The Surrey School District was formed in 1906. It has the largest student enrolment in British Columbia and is one of the few growing districts in the province. It is governed by a publicly elected board of seven trustees. The district serves the cities of Surrey and White Rock and the rural area of Barnston Island, with a total area of approximately 328 square kilometres.

Our Mission: We engage our students in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to build a healthy, democratic and diverse society. The largest district in B.C., the Surrey School District has 101 elementary schools, 19 secondary schools, five learning centres, four adult education centres, a distributed (online) learning program and a variety of satellite and inter-agency programs serving a wide range of student needs.

Diversity defines us as a community and we are committed to the understanding of our individual and collective cultures within schools.  Our District is part of Surrey’s Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) consortium of government, public, and private institutions, business, non-profit and community agencies working together to engage positively with newcomers, building a more inclusive and welcoming city.

Surrey RCMP

Rosy Takhar, Manager, Community Services

Surrey RCMP has been the police force for the city of Surrey since 1951. Being the largest RCMP detachment in all of Canada, we have a team of over 1000 people that includes police officers, municipal employees, Auxiliary Constables, Community Safety Officers and district volunteers who provide support in various capacities. In addition to our main detachment, we have five district offices located through the City that provide community policing and offer a wide range of crime prevention programs.
Surrey RCMP is involved with the Surrey LIP because we are committed to ensuring safe homes and safe communities for all who live and work in Surrey. Being a part of a committee with over 25 community stakeholders allows us to work in cooperation with our diverse community to enhance livability and make this possible. The issues of immigration and integration barriers are important to our organization because we want to ensure all those within our community understand policing and trust that we are here to help. If there are barriers to accessing our services or reporting a crime, we want to be aware and work towards a solution together. 

Sources Community Resources Society

SanjeevNand, Director of Organizational Development

Sources Community Resource Centres is a community-based multi-service non-profit agency that has been providing services for more than 30 years.  Our mission is to promote the social wellness for our community.  The agency delivers a wide range of programs which include, Child and Family, Employment, Sources Food Bank, Community Living, Addictions, Counselling, Advocacy, Community and Volunteer, Women’s, Seniors, and Youth  services.  We strive to be a source of support for those coping with isolation, addiction, poverty, disability and conflict. We also serve as a source of encouragement for individuals and families making positive changes in their lives.  Services are delivered in the communities of White Rock, Surrey, Langley, Delta and Northern BC.

As a multi-service agency, Sources is involved in the LIP initiative because of the diversity of our clients and our mission to promote the wellness for our community.  The issues of immigration and integration are extremely important to build healthy sustainable communities.  Our organization realizes the importance of being at the forefront to create innovative strategies, programs and services, thereby supporting a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone has access to socio-economic prosperity. 

Surrey Interfaith Council

Umoja Operation Compassion Society

Jamie Kopp, Program Manager

Umoja Compassion Society of British Columbia is a non profit society formed in 2002 to work with low income immigrants living in the British Columbia the lower mainland. Our society seeks to help promote unity, respect, and dignity among minority immigrants and refugees. New immigrants and refugees can find it difficult to integrate due to obstacles such as poverty, extremely low levels of literacy, unemployment, language barrier, isolation, feelings of hopelessness and depression. Through Umoja Family Services Center, we provide a variety of culturally sensitive programs to help families, children, and youth integrate successfully into their new social environment. Umoja currently offers First Steps:Hand in Hand program for refugee families with children 0-6 years old, an adult literacy and life skills class, beginner computer class, afterschool program for children 6-12 years old, Family outreach, Youth outreach, support and referral.

Umoja was founded by a couple (Amos and Edith Kambere) who immigrated from Uganda, Africa during a time of civil unrest causing them to leave their home and flee to a neighboring country, eventually coming to Canada as refugees. Through the personal experiences of the Kambere's and close connection with the immigrant community Umoja has continued to provide services to newcomers with a strong understanding of the challenges, struggles, barriers and triumphs that are experienced during integration. It is through this lens that Umoja continues to provide support and a welcoming place for education, skill development and community connection. As a community organization it is deeply important to be a participant in the Surrey LIP council in order to be involved in the work of the broader community in moving forward together and ensuring all newcomers feel at home and are empowered to achieve their dreams and goals.


Catherine Ludgate, Manager, Community Investment microfinance, financial literacy, anti-poverty

As a values-based financial co-operative, Vancity is committed to transforming how banking is done so we can help our members and our local communities thrive financially, socially and environmentally.  As a financial institution, how we invest and operate affects community well-being. It's a responsibility that we take seriously. That's why our values-based banking model is grounded in the local economy, and why we make decisions based on co-operative principles, a commitment to environmental sustainability and through a lens of social justice and financial inclusion. 


We participate in the SLIP because of that commitment to inclusion; we have a responsibility to provide fair, transparent and accessible financial services to everyone in our communities.


Darren Mumford, Manager

The YMCA is a cause-driven charity—a powerful association of men, women and children of all ages and abilities joined together by a shared commitment: to strengthen community.  We accomplish this goal by helping vulnerable children and families, promoting healthy living and reducing isolation.  The YMCA serves more than 110,000 children, youth, adults, families and seniors become stronger through life-enhancing programs and services. The YMCA of Greater Vancouver has been serving the Lower Mainland for 128 years and currently offers programs at 178 locations.

Approximately 50% of people in the Lower Mainland do not feel a strong sense of belonging in the community. Isolation, disconnection, and lack of community connections prevent people from accessing services that could help break this cycle. The YMCA is committed to helping create communities where people know their neighbours, respect diversity and share a sense of social responsibility. We want families to thrive, reach their full potential and to see everyone in our communities experience better health in spirit, mind and body. Services for new immigrant and refugee families are a critical part of developing healthy communities and the Surrey LIP project helps this work be most effective.