Sikh and Muslim Community United in Service for Vulnerable Communities in Surrey, B.C.
The SACH Community Hub:
Uniting and Serving Communities
August 2nd, 2021, Surrey, B.C. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare many of the ongoing social and systemic challenges we face as a society. Many families and individuals living throughout the Lower Mainland including new immigrants, refugees, and IBPoC community members are unaware of, or unable to, connect with the resources available to assist them in their well-being. In addition to the pandemic, we have seen an increase in the number of people facing mental health and substance use challenges, stigma, linguistic barriers, cultural biases, difficulty in accessing health and social services, homelessness, food insecurity, and other socioeconomic issues.
On B.C. Day, we convened a community event to serve and support community members living in the Newton area. This location is home to many racialized individuals and families who are underserved by the current healthcare and social systems, particularly relating to cultural, religious, and linguistic inclusion. At this event, the SACH Community Hub was on site with Foundation for a Path Forward, sharing information and connecting individuals to services and supports available in the community. We provided refreshments, personal care and harm reduction supplies, informational resources, and offered on-site counselling and naloxone training.
SACH Directors and organizers who launched today’s event include Harman Singh Pandher, Anita Lal, Allysha Ram, Upkar Singh Tatlay, and Gary Thandi, as well as partner agencies Moving Forward Family Services, Engaged Communities Canada, and the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
SACH community collaborators and supporters who came out to participate in today’s event included Mr. Sukh Dhaliwal MP for Surrey - Newton, Mr. Bilal Cheema of Cheema Strategies Inc, Mr. Ali Haidar from International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF), executives from BC Muslim Association (BCMA), Students Overcoming Substance Use Disorder and Addictions, Poetic Justice Foundation, Royal Academy of Bhangra, Sunfarm Produce & Groceries in Khalsa Business Center in Surrey, BrandMe in Langley, as well as Raj, Kirti, and Gurpreet Arneja of Nanak Foods. We also want to thank and acknowledge our youth volunteers and future leaders who joined today.
Services we provide connection to include:
● Income assistance and obtaining identification
● Substance use treatment and harm reduction services
● Food security and personal hygiene supports
● Victim services
● Referrals to other community resources
SACH Community Hub was founded to foster the health and well-being of underserved diverse communities living in British Columbia by providing low barrier services, counselling, and advocacy through a South Asian perspective and in a culturally-informed safe space.
A Unique Interfaith Community Approach
The vision for our partnerships is to unite and serve diverse communities living in and around Surrey. SACH Community Hub is an open and inclusive organization based on shared humanitarian principles. To date, they are partnered with members from the Muslim Food Bank and Community Services, BCMA, IDRF, and Foundation for a Path Forward.
SACH is currently providing services at various temporary locations around Newton. Their goal is to have a permanent location in the area to support the community. Please connect with us if you are able to provide support or assistance in finding an appropriate location. For volunteers, donations, sponsorships, or to learn more please visit www.sachbc.ca or email email@example.com.
SACH wishes to acknowledge the ongoing support it receives from the BC Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. The solid working relationship between the Ministry and SACH is an integral part in increasing access to services for underserved and racialized communities.
The Province of British Columbia’s Resilience B.C. anti-racism network offers a multi-faceted, province-wide approach in identifying and challenging racism. The program connects communities with the information, support and training they need to respond to, and prevent future incidents of racism and hate. There are 50+ organizations across the province in the network, including four community conveners.
Foundation for a Path Forward is the Official B.C. Faith Community Convener, working in partnership with Resilience B.C. They take a start-up mindset to developing innovative and impactful solutions to support anti-racism initiatives, cultural programs, technological innovation, environmental protection, gender equality, youth development, refugee support, and mental health resources in B.C. and across Canada.
As an organization founded and headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. we are committed to the process of decolonization, and reconciliation with First Nations and Indigenous communities. We acknowledge we are on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We thank them for having cared for this land and look forward to working with them in partnership as we continue to build this country together.
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