A study by United Way shows the number of people needing social assistance in Surrey has gone up.
In 2014, around 15,000 calls were made to the B.C. 2-1-1 help line, a 19 percent increase from the year before.
The top reasons for calls are housing and homelessness, substance use, abuse, and basic health needs.
United Way CEO Michael McKnight says the study confirms the city’s challenges as people move in.
“I think growth is a big challenge, any community that doubles its population in 20 years is going to experience growing pains. Often a population expands much more quickly than its support structures around that population, so Surrey will be challenged.”
The study also revealed 40 per cent of Surrey’s residents are immigrants, while the city is also home to 27 per cent of all government-assisted refugees.