Sur-Del Easy Does It Club Receives $9,600 Grant to Support People Living on the Street During COVID.
We have presented a $9,600 Emergency Community Support Fund grant to Sur-Del Easy Does It Club (EDIC) to support their community outreach project, reaching people living on the street and suffering from addiction during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding was used to retain staff to open the Club's cafe area in the morning to homeless people, especially those found sleeping in front of the entrance door. They assisted them by providing a bathroom, warm food, and friendly talk about recovery possibilities, followed by major disinfecting procedures.
The Sur-Del Easy Does It Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those suffering from addiction. Their programs include recovery meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, other 12 step fellowships, and relapse prevention workshops to assist those in need. They hold these meetings three times a day, and their door is open 10 hrs a day throughout the year, even on Christmas and New Year's.
"This place has always been about compassion and hope. We need financial help more than anything. We can find the people's power to do the actual work to recover. It is the financial help that we require the most. We truly appreciate the time and effort of those who have supported us. With the help of funding for our outreach project, the Club had served 310 people and helped five people get into recovery." stated Mike D., President of Sur-Del Does Easy does it Club.
"This funding has helped us in keeping our doors open and offer outreach to those who need it the most," explained Robert W., member of the Sur-Del Easy Does It Club. "We required funding for retaining two staff members. We had to procure masks and cleaning supplies as well as plastic screens for the cafe. We never had employees before, but due to COVID and decrease in volunteers, we had to have paid employees."
Before the pandemic, they kept their doors open to the public to come and have coffee and a snack, socialize, play cards and have fellowship. Volunteers have solely run them, and all meetings were self-supporting, whose rent helps support the EDIC in paying costs to continue functioning and provide gathering space for these various groups. They also held events such as dances, car washes, and other fun activities that enable the EDIC to stay open for those that need addiction support.
"Coming here and volunteering helped me better myself," shared Thomas R., Vice-President of the Sur-Del Easy Does It Club, "I also work at a homeless shelter. It is visible daily that the people there have nowhere to go, and to have this program available to them is extraordinary. There is staff available here to help those who came seeking it by guiding them in the right direction and recommending recovery programs or getting them in touch with the appropriate facilities that can help."
After COVID-19, the introduction of the social distancing protocols and health and safety concerns have reduced their meeting sizes to a third of what they usually would be. This also led to volunteers not coming back due to COVID concerns, and the EDIC executive had to shut down the cafe to avoid a potential COVID vector. As part of their COVID Protocols, they have discontinued services such as food in the meeting rooms and communal coffee pots.
"With the pandemic happening, there was no place left for the homeless people to turn to; we had to shut our doors as well to ensure social distancing practices to keep people safe," stated Melody C., outreach program manager at Sur-Del Easy Does It Club. "By just keeping our doors open and providing facilities to help individuals clean up can make a difference. I remember this time when a 60 to 70-year-old looking woman asked permission to use our facilities, and when she was done, I was amazed to see this young, vibrant woman in front of me. The transformation was unbelievable as I witnessed this scared, quiet person turn into a beautiful human being just after a bit of self-care. She then started talking about a recovery program and participating in it."
Another time, there was a lady that came with her son from Guildford. The lady did not have any addiction-related problems but was having homelessness troubles and had to support her son, who struggles with mental health. They were regulars of the Club who would walk down from Guildford and have their meal there. It also provided the woman a place to talk with others, which is essential for those struggling to find people to speak with and provide helpful resources. Eventually, the mother and son were finally able to get housing.
This grant is made possible through the Government of Canada's $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund, which saw over $900,000 allocated to SurreyCares in its first round and now over $575,000 in the second round.
"Addiction and mental health issues can be quite sensitive and life-threatening. Even lending an ear to someone can prove to be a turning point for someone with these issues. SurreyCares is glad to have this opportunity to provide funding for such an inspiring program. Just by having their doors open, Sur-Del Easy Does It Club can provide tremendous support to the vulnerable members of our community," said Christine Buttkus, Executive Director of SurreyCares Community Foundation.
Individuals and businesses who wish to support Surrey charities are asked to give to the Surrey Community Relief Fund. In partnership with the Surrey Now-Leader, Surrey Board of Trade and The Saheli Foundation, the goal is to raise $500,000 to support the most vulnerable populations in Surrey.
To learn more about Sur-Del Easy Does It Club, visit their website at http://easydoesitclub.org/meetings.html.