Surrey 2023 Project Completed:

Surrey Urban Mission

This transitional shelter, called the “Cove,” houses 42 people, providing hot showers, laundry, meals, overdose prevention, and community connection services. But it was also unsightly needed a transformation to better serve clients as they transition to recovery and permanent housing.

The core idea of this project was to create a place of home and belonging for the people who live there.

10607 King George Blvd, Surrey

The Issue

Homelessness, addiction, mental health and food insecurity are key issues in Surrey and across BC.

Part of the solution is to have facilities and programming that transitions people into recovery and permanent housing. The Surrey Urban Mission Society (SUMS) hosts four shelter locations that operate 24 hours/day. 

One of these four locations is the “Cove,” a shelter space that houses 42 people (14 women and 28 men). Of these guests 25% are fragile seniors, and 20% are indigenous. The facility provides hot showers, laundry, meals, overdose prevention, and community connection services.

The current building is unsightly for the neighbourhood. It has grey cinderblock walls, a dilapidated front awning, chain-link fence, and an asphalt yard space. Inside, staff capacity for health and support work is hampered by operational spaces that are not properly separated and result in interrupted workflows and a lack of privacy.

Guests attempt to seek shelter and security in the yard space, but it lacks sufficient facilities to protect them from the elements with limited resources to support most activities. The overall aesthetic does not help the guests feel a sense of hope or pride in themselves or environment as they strive to better their lives. There are overwhelming opportunities to make these spaces supportive of increased programming with aesthetics that reflect the positive work being done.

The Project

The purpose of this Radical Renovation it to change the Cove for several key impacts:

  • Change the building in ways that bring about a more supportive coexistence with neighbours.
  • Provide flexible meeting and gathering spaces, ensuring guests can connect to each other and more services such as life skills, art therapy, physical exercise and other health-related activities.
  • Design spaces that engender a sense of belonging, dignity and self-respect.

To achieve these impacts, our plan is to change several key areas of the site.

The Courtyard – Re-orientate the space so garbage and utility vehicles no longer drive through community spaces; build a series of gazebos that provide distinct gathering spaces for different kinds of programming and connection; provide greening and raised garden beds; create a physical exercise sports area; better storage for belongings and pet care.

Building Interior – Renew bathroom areas for dignity of hygiene; repaint offices, common and main areas.

Building Exterior – Repaint the exterior of the building and renew the front for better dignity for the neighbourhood and the residents..

Our Partners

A heartfelt thank you to the people and companies below whose support is instrumental in HeroWork Canada and the Radical Renovation of The Cove, part of the Surrey Urban Mission.

Learn about how the Surrey Urban Mission is a bridge to hope in the Whalley community.

HeroWork Testimonials:

HeroWork and all the volunteers rock! So wonderful to see the community work together and make positive changes to our neighbourhood. Thank you!

- Past Volunteer

As a long time volunteer with the Rainbow Kitchen and janitor for the church for a number of years, I am awestruck.

- Rainbow Kitchen Volunteer

It was a privilege to work with this group of amazing people. I look forward to the next project.

- Past Volunteer

Great to see all the amazing effort that’s gone into this transformation and kudos to everyone who stepped in to help others.

- Past Volunteer