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Waterfront employers help lift affordable housing campaign

Women, seniors, refugees and at-risk youth to benefit
Options donation
From left to right: Marissa Chan-Kent (BCMEA), Kathy deLisser (Ceres Terminals Canada), Christine Mohr (Options Community Services CEO), Kim Stegeman-Lowe (Western Group), Penny Priddy (Women of Options), Jennifer Perih (Global Container Terminals Canada), Angela Kirkham (DP World Fraser Surrey), Kamaljit Lehal (Options Community Services Chair of the Board).

A campaign to provide vital housing to women fleeing violence, refugees, seniors and others in need has reached its fundraising goal thanks in part to a donation from a group of maritime employer companies.

The group of waterfront companies, largely operating south of the Fraser River, informally called South of the Fraser Maritime Employers, will donate $36,000 toward the new affordable housing project, capping an impressive fundraising effort steered by women leaders in the community. The group is comprised of Ceres Terminals Canada, DP World Fraser Surrey, Global Container Terminals Canada, Western Group, and BC Maritime Employers Association.

The facility, which will be operated by Habitat Housing Society, a sister organization of Options Community Services, will be constructed at King George Hwy. and 81st Ave. in Surrey. Once complete, 70 per cent of the complex will offer below-market housing rentals, starting at $375 per month, targeted to those with the greatest needs.

“Options Community Services is one of the most respected not-for-profit organizations in the South Fraser region. We couldn’t be prouder to answer their call and support their critical work building affordable housing for women, youth and others at risk of homelessness in our communities,” said Jennifer Perih of Global Container Terminals on behalf of the group.

The fundraising campaign, called Women of Options, raised more than $1.5 million through the efforts of 50 women in the community. The campaign was supported by Penny Priddy, a dedicated community leader in Surrey and former board member of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority who recalled the great corporate citizens in the waterfront community and reached out to them.

“For more than fifty years, Options has been working hard to help the residents of Surrey, Delta, White Rock and Langley, and it became the obvious choice for our five organizations to come together to support more meaningfully,” said Perih. “In making this donation, we hope to encourage others to consider ways they can support those who may be struggling in their communities.”