Annual Report (2020-21)

Building Community Inspiring Hope

Annual Report 20/21

Our Story

Our Services

Our Thanks

Early Years Family & Children's Intervention Youth Mental Health Homelessness & Housing Stopping The Violence

14-15 16-17 18-19 20-21

Volunteers Funders & Donors Acknowledgements

30 31 32

A Message from Options In Memoriam Strategic Plan About Us Our Community - Our Commitment

3 4 5

22 23

6-7 8 9 10-13

Employment Newcomers

24-25 26-29

Financials Highlights

*Photographs provided by Getty images and actual participants from our community events.


With a 50-year community services history in Surrey, Options is widely respected as a leading provider of support services and housing for vulnerable populations across the city of Surrey and its surrounding communities.

As we look ahead to our next five years, we ’ re pleased to be sharing with you our new strategic plan. This plan was developed in consultation with members of our community and many members of our team including our board of directors, executive team, management, and staff. We ’ re grateful for your many ideas, the benefit of your wisdom, and the depth of your support. This strategic plan outlines Options ’ 10-year vision, the strategic priorities for the next five years, and associated key capabilities the agency will build and develop in order to achieve its priorities. It has been developed at a time of great momentum and exponential growth for Options, as it navigates the increasing complexity of Surrey ’ s fast growing, culturally diverse community in an under-resourced climate.

Our Strategic Priorities:

Systems: Designing our organizational systems for Operational Excellence

Community: Leading Boldly and Proactively

People: Growing Our Culture of Learning

We ’ ll prepare for ongoing growth by becoming an even more nimble, adaptive, and resilient organization.

We ’ ll encourage leadership throughout our organization, ensuring shared and continuous learning - including from you, our community.

We ’ ll focus on serving the needs of our communities, while investing in our partnerships to develop new streams of funding and support.




A healthy, caring community, where everyone strives.

We inspire hope and belonging for all.

The land which we are on is the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples including Kwantlen, Katzie, Matsqui, Musqueam, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Kwikwetlem and the Stó:l ō Nation.


Diversity Everyone has a voice. We are inclusive, respectful and fair.

Integrity We are accountable, honest and compassionate.

Resourcefulness We are creative, flexible and innovative.

Collaboration We work collaboratively as partners and teams within the organization and broader community. Excellence We go above and beyond ordinary and strive towards the exceptional and extraordinary.


Statement of Diversity The diversity of our community takes many forms. We see diversity as an asset to our organization and communities and strive to be reflective of the communities that we serve. We commit ourselves to promoting better understanding and appreciation of our human diversity; a commitment which is best realized through our individual and collective effort.

Our Programs We provide services, south of the Fraser River, across the lifespan from prenatal to seniors.

















Our Partners We believe in the power of collaboration; we work with individuals, businesses, community groups and government toward our vision of a healthy, caring community, where everyone thrives.



english danish

turkish sign


kirundi indonesian mandarin

swedish spanish

pashto romanian



80+ Programs

57 Languages

617 Staff

250 Volunteers

Options Community Services is accredited under the Council on Accreditation.

*Based on 2019 data


The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building on the new. ― Socrates

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and 2020/21 became a year that no one will forget. Looking back it was a scary time, which grew far more frightening than we could have imagined. Our greatest concern was for the most vulnerable people and families that we serve and for our staff delivering essential support in our shelters, transition homes and other residential environments. Despite the pandemic, staff exemplified Options ’ core principles of Diversity, Integrity, Collaboration, Excellence and Resourcefulness. They lifted the heaviness of the times for the people who sought our help, paying close attention to their individual needs. Staff summoned their resourcefulness to uphold our service delivery, learning innovative ways of meeting client needs, some of which will likely forever shift the way that we work. We are grateful that we fared well as a collective team; when clients or staff did contract the virus, we responded quickly to avoid outbreak. At the same time, we want to acknowledge that some staff did lose family and friends to this pandemic. To our colleagues, we share our deepest condolences. Last winter, we proudly opened the doors to Nichol Place, a much-needed 48-bed Mental Health Assisted Living residence in Surrey. It has been wonderful to see residents settling into their new home in this beautiful facility. In addition, we have begun the work of establishing Maple House, a 6-bed Assisted Living/4-bed Supported Living residence in White Rock. In February 2021, Options launched a capital campaign called 50 Women of Options which is committed to raising $1.5 million toward our affordable housing development at 81st Avenue and King George Blvd. Fifty amazing women stepped up to raise $25,000 each towards our $1.5 million goal, and did so in a record breaking time of four months!

CHAIR | Kamaljit Lehal

CEO | Christine Mohr



We are very pleased to see shovels in the ground for the 81st Avenue project. This affordable housing development will include 100 homes and two service floors for OCS programs, made possible through the partnering of BC Housing and Options. We cannot thank our incredible staff enough for carrying this most trying year. Thank you to our highly dedicated Board who readily give their time and expertise, and to our Executive Team and Managers for their leadership as we continue to navigate the uncharted waters of COVID-19. We extend a special thank you to former Deputy Executive Directors Slinder Balaggan and Khim Tan as they move to other endeavours in 2021. Slinder and Khim have added much to OCS through their valued contributions. We wish them all the best. Thank you to our funders, all of whom have been supportive through this last year with all of its challenges, and to our community, non-profit and other partners.


Kamaljit Lehal, Chair

Louella Mathias, Co-Vice Chair

Shyanne Boudreau, Co-Vice Chair

Craig East, Interim Acting Treasurer

Doug Neale, Secretary


Amanda Bratch

Anoop Khosla

Jeff Scott

Together we have persevered.

Ken Holmberg

Kirsty Davis

Michael Kendler

Tim Beachy

Options' Directors voluntarily shared 1,177 hours of their time and expertise in support of the organization and the communities that we serve.


It is with deep sorrow that OCS has lost a director, a friend and a

wonderful human being. Kevin passed away unexpectedly in March,

leaving a hole in our hearts and on our board.

Kevin was the Treasurer of OCS from the time of our merger in 2009

and for several years before then at Surrey Community Services. It goes

without saying that he was highly skilled in finances, but Kevin had a

special talent in making Board finance interesting and engaging. He

was always ready to answer questions and in fact, he welcomed them.

He had the ability to take challenging scenarios, financial and

otherwise, break them down, and concisely provide perspective and

solutions. Kevin was never afraid to express his thoughts and was

always respectful of the views of other people.

Kevin was the kind of person that made everyone feel welcome. He

was friendly, patient, funny, brilliant, and caring. Kevin gave generously

of his time, expertise and financial resources to support the work of

Board Director 2005 – 2021 Kevin Kilgour

OCS. He was so proud to be part of our OCS family and amazed by the

work that staff and volunteers do. Kevin is part of our OCS fabric and

will forever be sorely missed.


Revenue for the Year Ending March 31, 2021

Revenue Highlights The Society ’ s 2020-21 total revenue increased year-over-year by approximately $7.56 million, to $49.35 million. This represents an increase of approximately 18.09% over the previous year.

Provincial Miscellaneous Cost Recovery From Related Party Sales and Fees Client Rent Contributions and Rental Donations Other Funding Agencies United Way Municipal Federal

79.6% 1.4% 3.7% 0.7% 1.9% 0.7% 4.5% 0.3% 1% 6.2%

Expense Highlights Overall, OCS had a good financial year and remains in sound financial condition. Total expenses increased year-over-year by approximately $7.49 million, to $47.50 million. This represents an increase of approximately 18.71% over the previous year. The increase in revenues and expenses produced a net increase in operating surplus of approximately $73,000, or 4.12% over the comparable surplus amount in the previous period. The Society ’ s total excess of revenue over expenditures, for the year, amounted to approximately $1.84 million.

Expenses for the Year Ending March 31, 2021

Wages and Benefits Donations In-kind Client Housing Contracted Services Interest Fees Paid to Clients

60% 0.6% 3.9% 8.4% 0.1% 9.6% 2% 5.5% 2.1% 7.9%

Food Service and Supplies Program Costs and Training Office Building Occupancy


2020 - 2021

More than 200,000 lives were touched


Christmas Hamper donations from Southridge School.

Christine Mohr and Migrant Workers Project (MWP) staff accept cheque from SurreyCares.


Youth Services with clothing drive donations.

Tamanwis Secondary students collected Easter Hampers for OCS clients.

CCRR staff dress up for Children the Heart of the Matter Conference.


MWP staff at a Fraser Health Vaccination Clinic for migrant workers.

Staff at CCRR participate in Orange Shirt Day.

Victor Ghirra Toy Drive donations.

Seaquam student handmade 107 masks for donation to OCS clients.


Staff at Newton office accept jersey donation from BC Lions.

WorkBC staff celebrate Pink Shirt Day.

They are the most amazing group of people that support me in every way.



Healthiest Babies Possible Provides prenatal and postnatal support, education and connection to vulnerable women to assist them in having healthy babies.

Women supported

Babies born at full term


Initiated breastfeeding

Child Care Resource and Referral Educates and trains childcare providers and helps parents locate quality childcare.



Childcare providers feel able to deliver better quality childcare after receiving training with CCRR

Training events held


Participants at 85 workshops


Growing Together Supports young moms striving to finish high school while raising health children.



Children supported

Families supported

First Steps Provides a comprehensive range of Early Childhood Development services for young refugee children and their caregivers.

100% Would recommend the program to friends or family


Families graduated

Family Resource Programs

64% Attended sessions more than 12 times in a month


Supports families with young children in a safe, fun and child- focused environment.

Family visits


77% Graduated from Managing Anger Through Intelligent Compassion

Family Enhancement Program Culturally sensitive, multi-disciplinary team offering crisis response, family support and Clinical Counselling to support and educate families.


Clients served


Special Services to Children & Families Provides opportunities for children and youth with special needs to participate fully in the community, experience meaningful friendships and learn new skills.


Increased their communication skills

Increased their life skills



Multicultural Family Preservation

Multilingual therapeutic family preservation and reunification support program.

Clients supported

Different languages served


80% Of clients are using more child- centred approaches to parenting

Domestic Violence Intervention

Therapeutic intervention services to perpetrators of domestic violence.

Clients supported


When we were feeling pretty low and unsure of ourselves, she helped us work through all the underlying issues that we had buried within.

Family Counselling Masters level therapists help families build healthy relationships, work through anxiety/depression, learn coping skills, and resolve conflicts.


Family members served


Family Support Outreach

One-to-one outreach program that focuses on parenting, child development and family communication.

Families supported

Sexual Abuse Counselling


Provides support to children and youth where sexual abuse has either been disclosed or is suspected.

Clients supported


Ryan first started attending the Services to Access Resources & Recreation (STARR) program when he was in grade two and has been an active member ever since. Ryan has participated in our in-school and after-school programs as well as multiple school break camps. Not only did he excel in our in-school leadership programs he has been a key part of our after-school and camp programming. In eighth grade he transitioned into a Junior Leader, helping run our programs and supporting younger participants. All of his involvement in our programs has enabled him to build up his volunteer hours and learn to take on different and increasing levels of responsibility as he grew up, including engaging our children and youth. His work within the program assisted in his acceptance in the Engineering program for UBC, and enriched his involvement in his school and community.


Options staff are amazing and willing and are communicative.

Services to Access Resources & Recreation

Youth Supported Independent Living

Out-of-school, group-based activities to help kids develop leadership and relationship skills.

Outreach, housing, and support services to youth living with mental illness.




100% Feel better equipped to live independently

Children and youth supported

Clients would recommend the program to friends or family

Clients supported

Youth Services

Suicide Prevention Education & Counselling

Pro-social activities provide young people aged 15 - 18 with an opportunity to develop life skills and create peer connections.

Risk assessment, crisis intervention, and counselling to youth affected by, thinking about, or having attempted suicide.




Young people supported

Of youth met or exceeded their life skills goal

Young people supported


Clubhouse Programs Options Clubhouses are based on a psychosocial rehabilitation approach to wellness and provide a safe and supportive environment to adults living with mental illness. All activities and services are designed to promote personal health and wellness while increasing independence and facilitating recovery. 483 Total clients 97% Developed goals Supported Community Living & Independent Living SCL and SIL provide persons living with mental illness affordable, self-contained living units and/or a variety of support services in the communities of Surrey, White Rock and Delta. 122 Individuals supported 84% Reported improved health and wellness Fraser Health Crisis Line FHCL provides a free 24 hour service, 365 days a year for people throughout the Fraser Health region. The Crisis Line also supports callers throughout the Province through the provision of 1-800-SUICIDE and the 310 Mental Health Support Line (310-6789). 54,913 Calls taken 83% Of callers report an increased ability to cope Assisted Living Semi-independent models of housing that provide residential care and rehabilitation to individuals with mental health challenges in a stable and supportive living environment. 44 Individuals assisted 11 Vacant beds

Thank you so much for being there - I didn't know there was help out there for someone like me.


Frank is a resident at Nichol Place, one of our Mental Health Assisted Living facilities. Compared to the smaller assisted living program he previously lived in, Frank feels much more cared for at Nichol Place. He says he feels “ less lonely and depressed and [I] am not sitting in my room stressed out like I used to be before coming here. This is my safe place. ” Since coming to Nichol Place in October 2020, Frank has been working on improving his health, getting in shape, and working towards staying safe and secure in his life. With encouragement from staff, Frank has already increased his confidence and independence, started a routine to stay healthy, and more frequently keeps in contact with loved ones. Most importantly, Frank says, “ my mental health has improved significantly. I feel like I ’ ve conquered my depression with the help of staff, my scheduled medications, co-residents for company, and my routine. ” “ I feel good and safe. This is home and it feels like a family – I ’ m happy and excited to continue my recovery at Nichol Place. ”


Services Offered

Our Homeless Outreach team together with shelters, Hyland House and Bill Reid Place offer a continuum of service designed to break the cycle of homelessness.




Temporary accommodation and services to meet immediate needs for shelter, food and security, and connections to services such as healthcare and employment. Shelters are a gateway to stable housing and independence. A provincially-funded, temporary shelter program which activates during the winter months and during extremely inclement weather. Extreme Weather Response

Sheltered or housed

Occupancy at Shelters


Turned away due to being full




Co-ed shelters

0 COVID-19 Outbreaks




Provides a wide range of mobile supports to people living on the streets. Addresses immediate needs such as food, warm clothing and a place to stay, connects people with housing, income support and health services and links people to other services in the community.

Clients housed

Individual contacts


I feel like a family in the transition house program. Me and my kids are really comfortable with all staff, we can eat well and sleep well here.

Prevention, Education, Advocacy Counselling & Empowerment (PEACE) For parents, children, and youth who have been exposed to abuse and/or violence. Provides individual and group in-office and school-based counselling.

Transition Houses

Threshold Multicultural Outreach

Offer a confidential, safe, temporary refuge for women and their children fleeing abuse. Support is provided to improve personal safety, achieve goals and find affordable, safe housing.

Support for women who remain with their abusive partner or are in the process of becoming independent.

66 Women and their children received refuge from abuse



46% Of clients were 8 – 12 years old


35% Increase in demand for services this year

Referrals to the transition houses

Individuals supported

Women supported

86% Of women would recommend our transition homes to others


Aynaz, a single mother of two kids, came to Canada from Iraq in 2017 as a refugee. Aynaz struggled to find employment “ because when I used to apply, I would be asked for Canadian experience and my resume was not appealing either. ” Aynaz was referred to Whalley WorkBC where she attended Job Search Skills and Career Planning workshops. “ This helped me in learning more about myself, my strengths and what career would I like to pursue, and what would fit me the most. These workshops developed my self-confidence ” says Aynaz. A career assessment matched her as a Special Education Teacher. Her Case Manager guided her through the application process and found her funding to attend Vancouver Career College. Whalley WorkBC also funded her daycare costs and supported her job search. Aynaz persevered. She maintained good grades while raising her two young children and within a week of finishing her 11-month training, Aynaz got a job in the Surrey School District. “ I am so thankful that I am in Canada. I am now going to apply for my Citizenship. I am so grateful that I got all the support that I needed to succeed from WorkBC. I am no longer receiving income assistance and happy to share that I have my own car. ”


Thank you for the great opportunity. I have learnt so much it gave me an ample amount of knowledge… from setting goals to securing a job.

Services Offered

Options operates WorkBC Employment Services Centres serving the communities of Whalley, Newton, and Guildford. Our WorkBC Centres are committed to helping people succeed in their job search.

309 Clients received wage subsidy

2,526 New clients registered

Connections to Employers & Community

Specialized Services

Job creation partnerships, wage subsidies, paid and unpaid work experience opportunities.

Customized services to persons with disabilities, physical and mental health barriers to employment.

96% Increase in Occupational Skills Training

1,445 Secured employment

Staffed Resource Room

Workshops & Training

Career assessments, employment plans, training support and apprenticeship programs.

Computers, internet, scanners, copiers, phones and fax machines.



Moving Ahead

Wraparound outreach and case management support to vulnerable refugees. 221

89% Understand life in Canada better, including rights and responsibilities

Clients supported

Settlement & Integration

Information, orientation, and referral services to settle and integrate newcomers. 1,909 81%

Newcomers supported

Increased their social network and feel less isolated

Community Connections Language classes, youth and senior groups, volunteer opportunities and initiatives that foster engagement between newcomers and host communities. 449 644

Clients supported

Language sessions offered


The sessions were really educational and easy to keep up with.

Top 8 Countries of Origin

Newcomer Employment



Pre-employment skills training, labour market information, and career mentorship support to newcomer job seekers.









Meet the Employer events held

Clients supported





BC Settlement & Integration



Specialized services for refugee claimants, temporary foreign workers, international students, and naturalized citizens.





Top 8 Languages Services Provided In

Individuals supported

Families received food from Taste of Home Program


















*Percentages exclude BCSIS

Rosario is a senior living in the Whalley area. For her, health and safety concerns have made it even more difficult to access affordable food or manage on her own during the pandemic. She explains, “ I receive a fixed income and the cost of food is always increasing. Before COVID-19 I used public transportation to socialize, go shopping, and attend school. Since COVID-19 and the lockdown, it has been very hard for me to go out or for anyone to visit me. ” Rosario receives support from BC Settlement and Integration Services (BCSIS). Through a partnership with the United Way ’ s Food Hub program, Options has been able to provide groceries, food hampers, prepared meals, and grocery store gift cards to Rosario and more clients like her. Staff at BCSIS explain, “ we have built meaningful connections with our clients and created an environment where they can feel safe. Clients are able to come to a familiar place where they have received services in the past. ” Through the program, staff also “ provide and educate clients on community resources including childcare, MSP, Service Canada, shelters, Christmas programs, and more. ” “ The Food Hub has been so helpful to me! I am able to get fresh food including milk, eggs, meat, and produce. Options staff have been able to drop it off to me safely so I can stay safe at home, ” Rosario says. “ I am very grateful for this program and hope that I can continue to be a part of it. ”



We couldn’t imagine doing this without you!

Connecting families, youth and newcomers to resources, the community and teaching Canadian culture. Assisting with reception, clerical and IT-related tasks. Sharing new activities, such as cooking, teaching and painting with clients. Reducing barriers to learning English by providing translation and tech support. Providing free income tax clinics for low income individuals. Connecting staff and clients through language at the virtual Culture Café conversation circle. Providing access to affordable and healthy groceries for vulnerable newcomer clients through the Seeds of Change food distribution program. Providing graphic design for marketing and promotional materials that reflect the diversity and cultures of our communities. Every year, hundreds of people like you, donate their time and skills to OCS programs through activities such as:



Fraser Health Crisis Line

Crisis Line volunteers respond to calls from individuals in need of emotional support, crisis intervention and community resource information. A small staff team supports and supervises a large, diverse and ever-changing group of more than 160 volunteer call-takers. Without volunteers, the Crisis Line could not operate 24/7. No experience is needed, as extensive training and ongoing support is provided. If you are interested in this rewarding and challenging opportunity, please visit for more information.


Hours contributed by volunteers

$783,228.73 Estimated value of volunteer service to OCS

*Not including Board of Directors


One person can make a difference but together we make change.

Capacity expansion to provide safe and secure shelter to nearly 500 people. COVID-19 emergency funding so our programs could offer subsidies, groceries, and housing support. Vocational training programs and employment equipment to support client ’ s employment goals. The opening of Nichol Place, a new 48-unit Mental Health Assisted Living facility. Your support has helped create and launch more than 25 initiatives over the past year, including: Thank you to our hundreds of funders, donors and supporters! Donations, both cash and in-kind, are what allow us to address unmet community and client needs. All gifts, big and small, matter.

Some impacts of donations this past year include:

40 children were able to attend the Jr. Civic Ambassador Program day camp. Over 150 low income families were able to celebrate Christmas through our Christmas Hamper program. Clients and staff were able to safely access our services with donated PPE. 17 families enjoyed Easter dinner thanks to hampers donated by a local high school. New parents received essential items including new baby sleepers, bibs, hats, and shoes. Clients received warm fresh meals from local restaurants and local grocers provided groceries to meet the needs of the families we support.

To learn more about how you can make a difference:

Dee Sharma, CPHR, SHRM-SCP Deputy Executive Director, People & Culture


Main Office

9815 - 140th Street Surrey, BC V3T 4M4 Tel: 604 584 5811 Fax: 604 584 7628

Newton Office 13520 - 78th Avenue Surrey, BC V3W 8J6 Tel: 604 596 4321 Fax: 604 572 7413


Options Community Services gratefully acknowledges the commitment and support of government and private funders who made a significant financial contribution to our programs. For a complete list of our funders, community partners and supporters, please visit .

options.bc www. .ca

Charitable Registration #811786227 RR0001

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