Update: The Little Pop Up Soup Kitchen…that couldn’t

An update to the story I posted yesterday that warmed everyone’s hearts is developing.

In speaking with Erin Schulte just now, she said a member of the group received a phone call from Fraser Health this morning to contact them.

Erin did call back and spoke with a Fraser Health Inspector, Nimret Rai, who said a complaint was received about the food service and the group would have to stop serving food completely, unless it followed Fraser Health guidelines and was all prepared a Fraser Health approved facility.

Erin said she questioned if the complaint originated with the Whalley Legion, and was told no, it was the city bylaw department. When further questioned, she was told she would have to speak to the media department.

I’ll post further updates as they come in, but one thing I know is true, is that these are amazing people whose only intentions were not to create trouble or break any laws, they simply want to feed people who are hungry, good,wholesome, nutritious food.

In my view,it’s like sharing your lunch with a homeless person on a larger scale.  They don’t have the funds for a professional facility and all the required amendments ( if there is someone out there who can assist, please get in touch)

The bigger question to me is, if the city bylaw department has indeed filed the complaint as Erin Schulte was told, why did they tell Global last week they welcomed their work and would work with them to a solution?

45 thoughts on “Update: The Little Pop Up Soup Kitchen…that couldn’t

  1. Laila

    I understand food safety regulations and I appreciate that they exist.

    However,It’s really quite boggling that it is illegal for a group of good people to make some great food and feed poverty stricken street people who more often than not are picking food out of garbage bins or relying on expired food or whatnot.

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    1. I am not sure about Surrey, but Many times other foodbanks have almost empty shelves. Homeless people have no way to cook any food they could get..I am not sure if they can get food w/o and address or ID. Also- Suggestion: I do know that some foodbanks serve soup or a meal – possibly the gals could combine w another service if this doesn;t work out. My opinion is they should be allowed to continue!

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  2. misallocationofcapital

    I left the Lower Mainland twenty-five years ago. After spending most of that time overseas I’m now safely back in a small-town environment.

    When I left there were few homeless people on the streets or soup kitchens, far fewer condo projects, mass transit was a new thing, everyone carried and used cash (none of these new-fangled ‘debit cards’!) and the streetscapes were walkable. You knew people in your neighbourhood and shopping was local.

    And what are these “casinos”? They’re everywhere. Who patronizes them? They look more like trash-glitzy Las Vegas resorts than anything else…

    I can only deduce that this is what lack of real economic growth does to ordinary people.

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    1. Not really. This is what happens when ONLY economic growth happens to people. They are left without community. They are left without support. They are left without identity. Many of them are even left without family and friends. Economic man is an empty shell. The ONLY thing they can relate to is money so money shows up in everything – even recreation (ergo: Casinos).

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  3. The government made similar noises up my way and most of us (not in the line but in the neighbourhood) stated out loud, “You will have to arrest me and taser me and pry the pie out of my cold dead hands!” And that shut the bastards up.

    This is NOT about health and safety. Don’t give that any air time at all. Yell: ‘LIES!’ when they say that.

    A good Saul Alinsky-style tactic would be to get some politician down there working a day or so and give them tons of publicity for doing so.

    Then blow up the picture and make posters. Do the mayor while you are at it.

    Hang the posters all over the kitchen. Or change ‘ownership’ of the ‘kitchen’ every week (the bureaucracy can trip on it’s own shoe-laces that way) or, best of all, bus all the poor down to the City Hall cafeteria, let them eat their fill and send the cheque to the City Bylaw Dept.

    I admit that none of this is brilliant but the battle has to be brought to the gates of the Forbidden City. It is time. If not there? Then where?

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  4. Eliza Olson

    The Fraser Health Dept. has screwed up so many good intentions. No one died of a cupcake baked in a Mother’s oven and sold to students’ at her child’s school. This is just another misguided good intention.

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  5. e.a.f.

    It is doubtful the by-law dept. did this on their own. You can’t get by-law depts. to deal with really serious situations when you complain, so I’d suggest this is a political reaction. Surrey doesn’t want the word to be out and about during an election that the homeless need to be feed.

    You won’t get any by-law dept. to tell you complained but trust me it would be someone with a little “clout”.

    It would be best if the group simply continued with what they are doing. then let Surrey’s by law enforcement officers do what they want to do or rather have the politicians direct them to do their bidding. Then have it filmed while it is happening. Its going to look really, really good when they arrest people trying to feed people who would otherwise go hungry. Welcome to the new reality in Canada. Get arrested for feeding the hungry. Now people need to remember this and go vote on election day, because this by-law “problem” didn’t start in a vacuum.

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  6. Kathie

    Maybe the politicians making up these bylaws should look harder at creating a community that helps the homeless and less fortunate. But I guess the Liberal government and it’s Municipal friends policies of expensive wine and chartered aircraft for Christy Clarks ridiculous photo ops is more of a priority!

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  7. Sun

    If you feel that homeless people shouldn’t have the same health regulatory standards as the public at large else, I think you are the one who is misguided. If you served free food to full-time employed individuals and somebody became sick or ill because of a potential breach in food safety, guess what you may be sued and civilally responsible for negligence. Good intentions or not, the intentions are not the issues being barricaded, undermined, or neglected – everybody deserves the quality of food and the method of how it is prepared to be upheld to a standard acceptable and safe. You would be be reluctant to accept food from an individual who doesn’t wash hands, inadequately cleans kitchenware, or is using expired or close to expired goods despite their good intentions to feed you. It’s easy and naive to be emotionally propelled and rationalize the action, but just because these individuals are homeless and are habituated to “picking food out of a trash can” doesn’t simply mean the standard of food delivery ought not to be equivalent to what the public at large expects out of food service.

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    1. Laila

      Great points and all valid, however cooking in a Fraser Health approved facility doesn’t guarantee food safety either-if you look at the list of restaurant infractions issued by the health authorities one clearly sees the system is only as good as the ability to inspect and follow up regularly.

      I’ve seen the requirements that Fraser Health apparently requires from soup kitchens etc, and I can say that I have not seen that set up in situations where people have been passing out sandwiches etc It’s ridiculous! If you are doing what Erin has been doing for more than 14 days in a year, they treat you like a restaurant.

      Do you see Church barbecues and picnics that do this? Bake sales? Community farmers markets? What about all these picnics politicians regularly host all summer long in parks serving hotdogs etc to hundreds of people passing in and out?

      I do not see any of those events have hand washing stations for their food prep etc. I do not see gloves always worn, or closed toes shoes like all these people had.

      So is the bylaw department going to go after the MLA’s hosting picnics in the park now? Or bang on the door of the local community potluck dinner?

      The day it is more acceptable to let people go hungry than let people who are washing their hands, using crock pots etc to keep food hot, wearing gloves, hair tied back serve good home food it just is appalling.

      We seem to have lost our humanity somewhat here.Whats next? Tickets for giving someone half your sandwich?

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      1. nonconfidencevote

        20 years ago we had a coffee vendor approach our company to set up an espresso machine and refrigerated cooler for cookies, muffins,etc. to rent space in the lobby of our office building.
        This would be a one person operation. Selling coffee and , basically , donuts. The vendor would have had access to a washroom to use the bathroom and clean up.
        It had never been done before.
        The city bylaw inspectors were incapable of thinking outside the box.
        It was denied.
        Several weeks later, a “hotdog” vendor was given a city permit ( $250 per year) to “set up” on the sidewalk outside the same building. The food was bbq’ed on the sidewalk. The vendor kept uncooked food all day in ice filled plastic coolers, The hotdog vendor had no access to a washroom or running water for cleaning.
        Basically, the city wanted it’s “pound of flesh” via permit fees.
        I dare say, a Surrey city lawyer and the bylaw, enforcement dept “had a bird”.
        “Unpermitted food?, GIVEN away? The horror.”
        Shakespeare was right. Kill all the lawyers.

        Whats the next harrassment.
        Revenue Canada?

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      2. anniepark

        I admire what you guys are doing, but in fact, I know for sure that farmers’ markets and politician-hosted parties DO ask for a permit before opening the events because they simply know that, without a permit, it’s against the law to host such an event that involves feeding people.

        I’m sure people at FraserHealth would also agree that you are doing a great thing for the community with a good will, but it is also their responsibility to ensure that the food is prepared and served in the right way to minimize any possible risks such as outbreaks, infections etc. Rather than being all emotional and upset, wouldn’t it be easier to just find ways to cooperate with them? It’s not like they are against your cause, and after all, it is all for the community.

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        1. Laila

          See the link I posted further down – No one has had an issue with these people popping in every other weekend to feed the homeless until Bylaws called them. Bylaws has been trying to move the homeless out of the area.

          Let’s be clear about something here. When Bylaws first approached them on Thankgiving,they were heavyhanded,they told the group not to come back, that they didnt want them in the city feeding. There was no mention of food safety etc, it was see you later, bye bye. Then when the press was involved,the bylaw department backed off, said they appreciated and valued what the group was doing and would work with them to find a different location – on camera.

          For many, the motivation behind why this complaint was made by bylaws is clear. They don’t want any activity in the area to encourage people to stay.

          Erin and her group are re-grouping, and looking into viable options to try and continue the service they have been providing every other Sunday. There has been a tremendous amount of food being prepared, and a large kitchen with other amenities would be needed,in addition to other equipment to serve on site to meat the guidelines. This really threw them for a loop. In the interim,blankets are being made from donated fleece, socks and other personal amenities and nutritious non cooked foods will be gathered for distribution.

          That is, unless someone finds out there is a bylaw against blanket and socks distribution too….

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      3. Sun

        Agreed that it isn’t a perfect system and even established franchises prepare and distribute food with perhaps questionable practices. However, I think you may be catastrophizing the situation just slightly and engaging this topic from an emotional or moral perspective, which although is fine, not necessarily conducive to address the situation in regards to the soup kitchen. I don’t think there is any by-law agenda to target soup kitchens yet permit bake sales or “MLA” picnics to go unchecked, although it may appear certain arrangements are targeted I will argue it is a reporting bias vs an actual effort to restrict access to food for those in need.

        I think there is a lot of misinformation and confusion that seems to be lingering and unfortunately Erin Schlute seems to have misinterpret and also catastrophize the situation. The process in which by-law (mine and your tax dollars works to fund) will file claims or escalate scenarios to which there is some actual or perceived concern. For instance, a regular soup kitchen in which there is frequent output may be flagged, to necessarily to shut it down but to have it reviewed and assessed. A one-off picnic or bake sale doesn’t get flagged as such as the frequency of their event doesn’t illicit a patterned response. Ie a child selling lemonade a few days out of the summer year vs a child selling lemonade every single day for the entire year. The by-law (which remember we are paying for) could not possibly address every potential case and report it , yes in an ideal world this would be correct, but unless you want to fork up more taxes, we have to be reasonable and accept cases where 1. There is a significant public involvement 2. Intervention is likely to be of benefit. Going back to the lemonade kid, if he sells lemonade to 20 people in a few days vs 500 in a year – well the second scenario presents a situation where it would make sense for greater oversight to occur.

        In This situation, the soup kitchen was/is a pervasive, regular, continuous event that serves multiple people cyclically. If there was anything to oversee – this presents a scenario that could be addressed. Once by-law filed a request to have this place assessed, it becomes reviewed by Fraser Health (another entity funded by me and you 🙂 – look we are on the same team!) FH reviews in accordance to food safe keeping policy/storage/distribution and occupational code. Perhaps get Erin to instead show you what recommendations she received, because guess what? At no point does it say nor has she been told by FH that your soup kitchen is being “shut down” nor can it no longer operate. FH simply made recommendations, as it does with paid establishments, like hey you guys are serving a lot of people with food – it would be in the best public interest to potentially limit the chance for risks related to food service to do x,y,z. Please aim to make these recommendations, however, if they are disregarded your facility and operations are subject to cessation

        I think taking even a volunteers statement with a grain of salt is at least objective. It can seem a little bit of an ego hit, when you are altruistically performing tasks and your work is being subjected to “by-laws” and criticism, however, it’s our responsibility to have an appreciation and respect for these safety nets that we as a nation as directly funding. I’m not just stating this as an outsider looking in, but also as a volunteer myself who assisted in hospital settings and the DTES soup kitchens – I can tell you personally being called up and having this shocking news that our food and prep was being potentially scrutinized can hurt, but I at no point were told to shut down or to stop doing what we were doing. We were given recommendations to improve the service, to better the steps that could limit contamination and harm – similar to what has been given to Erin. Of course, if we simply rejected suggestions and failed to improve, I think it is absolutely in the publics best interest to prevent us from doing so – just like I expect and would want an unsafe restaurant closed if they failed to improve conditions. Many of you may disagree and I apologize for the extremely long wall of text, but in think there is more to understand about these processes and systems – that let’s face it..we are paying to keep in place for us.

        Perhaps it may seem as if we have lost our humanity, I would disagree and say we are incrementally trying to improve it..for everyone. It is going to come with it’s head-butting, differences in opinion, frustrations, and failures. Even still, It is our responsibility as individuals to work together to ensure optimization of life for each other.

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        1. nonconfidencevote

          A typical bearuocrats response. Long winded and self serving ” We’re just here to protect YOU the taxpayer”.
          Please. Spare me.
          This is nothing more than politics , money and the local govts ability to shut something down. .
          And as for your final statement, “…..to work together to ensure optimization of life for each other….”

          Tell that to the hungry.

          Go back to whereever you came from and push more paper.

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          1. Sun

            Why not provide a potential solution or actual debate to the issue at hand? You suggest this is nothing more than politics, money, and the governments ability to shut something down? That is quite vague. Why not expand on your reasons or understanding of how politics and money play a roll in closing these operations down? You are clearly agitated and again being extremely personal, “go back to where you came from.” I think it’s honestly people like yourself that are stopping the cooperation by dismissing issues you don’t seem to understand or at least objectively approaching it. It seems you missed the premise of the perspective I was attempting to make, however, it doesn’t surprise me that a straw man approach to detract from issue is not an uncommon phenomenon on the internet. I guess I’ll go back to “pushing my paper,” I wish you the best of luck and offer my support in your efforts to assist those in need.

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            1. nonconfidencevote

              “Straw man approach”……I guess you pull that out when ever someone critisizes you?
              Ok.
              I thought providing solutions was the govts responsibility?
              Since they seem to endlessly tax us to provide social services.
              Or to hire bylaw officers to shut down desperately needed volunteer services. Is it any wonder “volunteeriism” is dying out?
              When govt depts see volunteers as a “threat” to their feifdoms and hit them with a sledgehammer
              These people are still hungry Sun. What are YOU and your govt agencies going to do about them since its been made very clear that a cost effective, beaurocrat free, volunteer option isnt allowed.
              Is that “Straw Man” enough for you?

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        2. Well, Sun, you are obviously striving for reason. But you are taking the indisputable and extrapolating to the extreme. Thus, you are being unreasonable. Your own words suggested that the govt. should show interest if: 1. There is a significant public involvement 2. Intervention is likely to be of benefit. But your point doesn’t stand up to your own criteria. Clearly a soupline for the down and out is merely a micro-segment of public involvement? If any at all? Those folks are NOT the public. NOT in any practical sense. They are called marginalized for a reason. And how can any intervention in that service be of benefit? Is starving preferable to a bit of sloppy serving?
          The reason you were jumped on is that your reasoned approach is unreasonable. You are purposefully ignoring the plight of the people served so as to justify the institutions who police. And – PULEEZ – do not remind me that we are paying for this nonsense. THAT does not make it right. We created standards when there were none. But, like all institutions, Fraser Health has had to justify it’s own existence and it simply ‘makes crap up’ to justify it’s own budget. ALL institutions do.
          Institutions don’t think. They are stupider than even corporations (who think out of greed). Institutions are the creation of good people who, by the time the institution is as large as Fraser Health, are long gone. The committed-to-their-salary take over. And no one has ownership of the damn thing anymore. It lives for itself. It grows for itself. ALL institutions are like that. Schools, churches, NGO’s and worst of all, GOVERNMENT. When it gets rotten to the core and corrupt all over, we revolt, tear it down and build anew. It may be time for that…………

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    2. I won’t eat on the BC ferries. Way too many times me or the people I was with came down with food poisoning. I think that is the reason they contracted out to White Spot, too many passengers were chucking their lunches until WS came in. I have eaten at soup lines when I worked in the DTES. In fact, the soupline that we (the street clinic) offered required the staff to eat the soup before serving it. Point: it is not the rules that keep you safe, it is the standards and attitudes of the staff. EVERYONE knows that.

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      1. nonconfidencevote

        Dont let “White Spot” being on the BC Ferries fool you.
        I ‘ve seen the galleys on the ferries………I buy coffee, wrapped cookies, muffins, etc. on the ferries.I’ve worked in Hospital kitchens, restaurant kitchens…….
        The company wide “fiscal”cutbacks have affected staffing levels in the galleys.
        No bugs, but lots of dirt.
        Not pretty.

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      2. You are something else JDC, you yourself can’t even handle the pressures of society so you run off to live in the sticks? Perhaps come back and contribute and understand that because life is so simple and easy going and you don’t need ‘rules’ out in feral land that those attitudes are just as applicable in urban settings. I’d invite you to one of many Soup Kitchens in the DTES core up and running every Sunday 10am – 2pm and lets see how uncontrolled standards and attitudes will take you.

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        1. I already explained, JA. I lived and worked in the city for 55 years. 15 of them in social services and 4 of those in the DTES. I know from whence I speak (albeit years ago). I contributed. And then I left. But I have always operated on the principle that you ‘do the right thing first. Worry about the rules second.’ But you are right. I am ‘something else’. Thank God for that!

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          1. nonconfidencevote

            It never ceases to amaze me when people (JA in this instance) challenge a person to “come down here and help out” .
            As if a persons opinion has no validity due to the fact that they may not have experienced or worked in a sector of the issue being discussed.Sometimes the person “standing back” see the issue with a clarity far exceeding the beaurocrat that is mindlessly “following the rules”
            The issue here is hungry people…..AND the Surrey govt shutting down an impromptu volunteer food vendor due to ‘health reasons”, “licensing”,etc.etc.etc .
            No amount of “synergies’ , “empowerment’, “efficientcies” or any other of the myriad Orwellian doublespeak catchphrases that govt workers and their media lackeys spew forth in an instant when the compliant media sheep show up with microphones in hand will change the fact that ……..these people are still hungry.

            Just keep “empire building” you slackadasical govt sloths, there will be a reckoning some day , and I for one cant wait for the looks on all your faces when YOU are in a bread line begging for food because…….you’re hungry..

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            1. Laila

              An update:an agency in Whalley has offered the use of their small Fraser Health approved kitchen, which Erin and the volunteers are grateful for,but it wont be possible to produce the variety and amount of food there ( because of limited space) that they were bringing from their homes – storage/transport makes that still an issue.

              Some very generous people have stepped up to purchase those pop up tents for service and blankets are being cut from donated polar fleece,so next Sunday’s service will continue as planned,in a different form.

              Where there is a will, there is a way, but hopefully the regulations can be changed to accomodate this kind of generous, thoughtful caring towards our cities homeless.

              I’ll keep you updated. 🙂

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            2. Good news! Great! Real people doing real things for others….what a concept! And they are not relying on the institutions, committees, pilot projects and the Dickensian grant review process!! Because nothing gets done that way! This is the way the real revolution starts – real people doing real things. Small things. Keep it local. Keep it real. And keep it away from the institutions. Might just be enough to draw me outa the boonies and make a donation. ‘Course, I’ll be in disguise….

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    3. Danny

      This has been going on for nearly a year with no problems. I know most of the people making and donating the food, and this food is bring prepared in the same places that they’re feeding their families from. So while your point isn’t moot exactly, the evidence overwhelmingly points to the necessary precautions having already been taken by these donators of time, money and food. I suggest you start doing any of the above rather than allowing bureaucrats to push their own agendas.

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      1. nonconfidencevote

        I remember reading a joke about “big govt” years ago in the US.
        The Head of Agriculture in Washington was walking into the lobby of his building when he noticed the security guard was crying. He entered the elevator and on every floor people that he saw were also crying. As walked down the hall to his office on the top floor he noticed that all the staff were sobbing uncontrollably. “WHAT has happened?” He asked.
        “Our farmer died!” , came the reply.

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  8. workforfun

    Surrey By-Law department needs to get it’s head out of it’s arse – sorry but it needs to be said.
    Since when does a charitable undertaking – in this instance serving free nutritious meals to those that are in need, need to have a special permit ? The food is supplying much needed nutrition.

    How about Surrey City Council set an example and provide food for the needy – hot meals, on a daily basis, for free. Failing to do that shows that Surrey is nothing more than a big school yard bully towards it’s poor and destitute citizens, with no real idea of how to deal with their (Surrey’s)
    problems.

    It sounds very much like sour grapes from a local restaurant that has gone and complained about losing business.
    Kind’a leaves one speechless doesn’t it. I hope local residents remember this come election time.

    Thanks

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    1. Laila

      Actually,I am told it was the local Legion who complained to bylaws initially, when the bylaw officers first kicked them out during Thanksgiving service.

      The Legion is smack dab in the middle of ground zero and have complained to the city in the past after they fenced off a vacant lot, which moved the street people elsewhere. It’s really symptomatic of the inability to address the problems in this area. This was written back in August: http://www.thenownewspaper.com/fence-erected-on-vacant-surrey-lot-leads-to-increased-issues-for-legion-1.1322064

      Jas Rehal, who I have met a few times, basically comes out and says as much in the above article, that they are moving people along and the local businesses are asking, why is the city allowing all these methadone clinics in the area? It’s again, an over concentration in one area.

      Ironically, as I posted above, despite the local legion and local businesses asking for a local shelter etc, as mentioned in the article, a 40 bed winter shelter has once again been denied for the second year in a row.

      So, the local businesses dont want to see the homeless, but they don’t want to have a shelter in the area either, or any other resources. So you tell me what the solution is?

      Erin and her group are simply feeding them. The street people were there long before she and her group showed up and I suspect if they cant find an appropriate location large enough to cook the meals all at once etc, they will be there long after she and the group are gone.

      Except, they’ll just be hungry.

      When you look at the whole picture, courtesy of Jas Rehal, the head of bylaw enforcement, it’s clear this isn’t about food safety, this is about trying to get rid of a problem the city has also contributed to by allowing meth pharmacies to be concentrated in this particular area, and that local businesses are calling them on.

      Now,if only bylaws would spend as much time shutting down problem properties,and illegal and often unsafe suites in the city as they would moving homeless peoples possessions around in Whalley,and calling in complaints about groups feeding those same people, perhaps things might change a bit.

      Meanwhile you might want to check out the #Surreybc hashtag on twitter so you can see what all our political candidates are up to while this all plays out. No one wants to address this area.

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  9. Jrtokin

    Laila, thought I’d post this from that article.
    A commenter, Kathy Heitzmann says: ” Laila, why don’t you go visit on one of those days and write another column on that visit. the people who go to the legion have rights also. many of them have had difficulties also and sad stories but have managed with hard work and effort. they have paid their dues and should be entitled to feel safe goingto the legion.”
    ===
    I posted in response to her and, I hope, any others who have the same thoughts.
    But, it’s really sad to see and hear the same trash-talk from many in the “business” community who, due their “personal entitlement” (ie: the poor are just lazy, drug-addled criminals looking for free handouts), feel that the poor are bringing the “community down”.
    If it wasn’t for the poor, I don’t think we’d have community anymore.
    As far as people “feeling safe” I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone short of a trained fighter or security-guard type person that would “feel safe” after dark there. And that most certainly is NOT the fault of this Popup Kitchen.

    Ps. In my dealings with the Legion of which I am a member (through my father who served) it’s my opinion that it was the “administration” that had “said problem”, not the Legionnaires themselves.

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    1. Laila

      I absolutely agree Vets should feel safe going into their Legion – or anywhere else for that matter. We all should. On the day of food service I was there, there were very fews cars at that time of the day, at the legion at all. I can’t speak to the evening.

      I have been down there several times separately from the food service and prior to it.I’ve seen what goes on.I’ve seen the tent city and the addicts wandering in a drug induced daze,and I’ve put the question to politicians and candidates directly on twitter on what their solutions are.

      And no one has responded.

      The hard question the Legion needs to be addressing, is not the feeding of people who are hungry, imo, but what to do moving forward.

      As a business owner points out in the above article, why are there so many pharmacies dispensing methadone in the area? Why is drug dealing allowed to occur openly in front of some of these social service organizations? You can assist people and provide services without allowing the brazen dealing to occur. Many of the people I spoke to Sunday were the ones who pointed this out to me!

      You can’t just simply abandon people, nor can you just move them to another neighbourhood and let it become their problem.

      The area is not safe after dark and likely often not during the day- my point in my initial post is that the food service is not the problem, or the issue. The people are there already. They have been there for years I am told and as the bylaw department acknowledges in the above article. You can’t just simply abandon people, nor can you just move them to another neighbourhood and let it become their problem.

      What the food service story inadvertantly did, was draw public attention to a years long issues that has plagued the area for far longer than I have lived in this city.

      And honestly, that’s the story here.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree. The food service is not the problem. Mind you, neither is it the solution. The solution is a re-jigging of the value system. The finger pointing should stop because the issue is not about any one group of people – the good, the bad or the ugly. Even the addicted and the crazy don’t want to be. This is all a by-product of a money-is-all-that-matters society. Our leaders make all decisions based on an efficient economic model (which excludes all ‘externalities’ like the environment) but that model puts way too much emphasis on the measureable data and that is JUST NUMBERS. They have all but abandoned the soft metrics that defy truly accurate measurement like a ‘sense’ of safety, a ‘feeling’ of community and ‘a nice place to hang out’. Hell, they don’t even consider the air we breathe, the water we drink or the wholesomeness of the food we eat). If you live by the numbers, you will die by the numbers. And we are.

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  11. e.a.f.

    well from the way the by law officers are carrying on I guess that guy Jesus would be issued a citation for his fishes act.

    The reason we don’t see police dealing with the issues in the area is because the politicians don’t want them to. If the police started arresting the drug dealers they might move to a neighbourhood which has “their” voters. There is also the issue of a lack of police officers in Surrey. Surrey needs its own police force, with a lot more officers. It needs a housing strategy. The federal and provincial governments have been getting out of the “social” business for a long time. Municipal entities need to realize that and act accordingly. This election, go out and make your vote count. The current crop of politicians just aren’t doing an effective job. If they were there might be a few more safe places for the homeless to go. Those places also don’t need drug dealers out front selling their “wares”. Its a no brainer to have a few cops around each shift to arrest the dealers.

    The conclusion I come to is, Surrey voters don’t really care about the social problems in their community, as long as it stays out of their neighbourhood. If the City of Surrey won’t do anything perhaps some of those religious types, regardless of the religion, could get together and start housing the homeless, just like in Portland, Oregon, they just started building. That is how they reduced their homeless problem. The various religions have managed to build massive “places of worship” but nothing for affordable housing or homelessness. Must be worshipping the same god those politicians are, the Money God.

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  12. Laila

    Another update friends: Erin and the kitchen received a permit for service with conditions, cooking out of a local agencies kitchen, serving outside. Everything was going as planned for this Sundays service until this happened yesterday…. now it seems to have all worked out in the end, but there is a big conflict between what the city is saying and what Fraser Health is claiming. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10154874526685381&set=o.695846520466061&type=2&theater

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  13. I am sure they will sort it out. Erin doesn’t seem to give up easily. But while I am optimistic for her and her project, think about this: just how many paid officials have wasted their time and our tax money chasing this mosquito of an issue? My guess? Counting the meetings behind closed doors….well in excess of $30,000 in person-hours. Don’t forget: when a cop pulls you over for not wearing a seatbelt, that is an hour or so of time out of a $250,000 a year budget (car, cop, support staff, supervision, other equipment). Our institutions are NOT cheap! And they DO NOT tackle the tough problems. So…..they harass the little people to justify their existence. The fault lies with us. NO institution should grow long-in-the-tooth. They need to be changed like underwear. Success is never final. Nor is failure. The only thing constant is change. And our institutions (Fraser Health, Police, Education – just to name a few) have forgotten how to change.

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