We have supplied a $5,000 grant to the Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association (FRAFCA) to support their All Nations Youth Safe House (ANYSH) which provides food and shelter to countless Indigenous youth in Surrey. As FRAFCA provides a wide range of culturally sensitive health and social services, their response to COVID-19 has been to continue to support the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal Peoples amid increased vulnerability. FRAFCA’s ANYSH is the sole youth Safe House in Surrey. The need for funding is therefore still acute as FRAFCA continues to provide youth with a safe, nonjudgmental and supportive place to stay while they are experiencing homelessness or are at risk in the community.
FRAFCA is a non-profit organization with services that promote the resurgence of Indigenous culture, language, and teachings, particularly those of local residency. FRAFCA’s services are offered to urban Indigenous children, youth, families, and Elders based on community-identified needs across Surrey. The Surrey urban Indigenous community is exceptionally young, with 50% of the population under 28 years old. FRAFCA, therefore, works from a decolonizing perspective, working to strengthen family bonds between generations and within the family.
“ANYSH serves anywhere from 160-200 youth per year ranging between the ages of 15-18 years old,” shared FRAFCA’s Youth Services Program Manager, Kyla Bains. She explained that “the youth we support through ANYSH do not have support systems in their life.”
The youth ANYSH serves are often fleeing from abusive homes, are recently found kicked out of their homes, are struggling with addictions or mental health, exiting the youth justice system, fleeing gang involvement or landing at ANYSH from out of the province or out of the country. Therefore, FRAFCA provides youth with opportunities to make choices that result in positive life changes while connecting them to community services, resources and agencies based on individual plans and needs.
The grant is made possible by the Surrey Community Relief Fund. With added financial support from individuals, philanthropists and businesses, the goal is to raise and distribute $500,000 to contribute to the resiliency and longevity of organizations supporting marginalized communities in Surrey.
"Due to COVID-19, there is an increased urgency to fund non-profit organizations who support vulnerable populations in Surrey,” explained Christine Buttkus, Executive Director of SurreyCares.” “Thanks to donors of the Surrey Relief Support Fund, we are able to support organizations, like FRAFCA, who especially need help through these trying times.”
Individuals and businesses who wish to support Surrey charities are asked to give to the Surrey Community Relief Fund to help support the most vulnerable populations in Surrey.
With community support from folks in Surrey, FRAFCA can expand their services and raise awareness and funds to help build youth transitional housing in Surrey. We encourage you to read more about the safe housing solutions still needed for Indigenous youth in a blog written by Kyla at https://www.surreycares.org/post/all-nations-youth-safe-house-anysh-the-only-short-stay-youth-safe-house-in-surrey.
Find out more information about FRAFCA and the services offered at https://frafca.org/.