Joan Kloss, pilule mind Chair of the Board of Directors of Surrey Community Services Society, purchase and John Russell, Chair of the Board of Directors of OPTIONS: Services to Community Society, are pleased to announce that the two societies merged, effective April 1, 2009. The membership of both societies voted unanimously in favor of the merger.

The decision to merge came as the culmination of months of investigation and planning by the boards and management of the two societies. The new society will be called OPTIONS Surrey Community Services Society.

According to Joan Kloss, “Surrey Community Services Society has been providing services in response to the needs of Surrey residents since 1969. This merger will allow us to be even more responsive to the needs of a rapidly growing community as Surrey grows to be the largest municipality in the Province.” John Russell concurs, saying, “OPTIONS has been building services in Surrey since 1971. Most of our programs are funded by government and this merger will help us make the best possible use of public funds.”

Christine Mohr, Executive Director of OPTIONS, and Ivan Menendez, Interim Executive Director of Surrey Community Services, both welcome the synergies the merger will create and view it as an opportunity to build on the success of both agencies. They also see the amalgamation as an opportunity to provide personnel with new opportunities, better training, and improved support and resources as they respond to the needs of clients. Further, the merger will enable the new society to increase co-ordination of services to clients and respond to a broader range of needs. Christine Mohr will be the new organization’s Executive Director and Ivan Menendez will be the Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Executive Director, Administration.

The combined programs of the two societies will employ over 400 staff. OPTIONS Surrey Community Services will be a Surrey based agency providing a broad range of services to South Fraser communities, including:

  • Information and referral
  • Mental health support
  • Emergency shelter and housing
  • Domestic violence outreach support and transition housing
  • Employment counseling
  • Clinical and lay counseling
  • Family support
  • Youth services
  • Services for children with special needs
  • Family resource centers for families with young children
  • Child Care Referral and Resources
  • Mobile child care
  • Multicultural services, including immigrant settlement, labour market, translation and interpretation services
  • Crisis intervention
  • Volunteer services

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