file photo

file photo

City of Wetaskiwin secures warming shelters for Wetaskiwin homeless encampent

Additional funding for the temporary warming shelter approved at special city council meeting.

At a special City of Wetaskiwin Council meeting on November 12, city council unanimously approved an additional $35,000 from the city’s contingency reserve be used to secure the lease of trailers for a temporary warming shelter.

The temporary warming shelter will be provided to secure shelter during the winter season for Wetaskiwin’s vulnerable population, many of which are currently living in a homeless encampment behind the Wetaskiwin Walmart.

City of Wetaskiwin Administration had previously identified a trailer encampment solution that would meet the operational requirements of a temporary warming shelter, however the proposed solution cost $185,000. This would be $35,000 more that the $150,000 approved by city council in October.

The $150,000 committed by city council will be reimbursed by the Rural Development Network as part of their Reach Homes Federal Funding grant.

“This additional funding allowed us to procure a trailer solution to provide emergency shelter to our vulnerable population throughout the winter,” stated Paul Edginton, General Manager of Community and Protective Services.

“We anticipate that the trailers will be operational by the end of the month.”

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The trailers are expected to arrive in Wetaskiwin by Nov. 19, 2021, however the actual opening and operation of the emergency warming shelter is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 29, 2021.

The temporary warming shelter will be located at 37A Ave long the road allowance.

City Administration says they are aware of a current draft agreement between the Government of Alberta and a proposed shelter operator that would provide operational funding to keep the temporary warming shelter running until the end of March 2022.

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“These warming shelters are long overdue and it’s unfortunate that we had to wait for funding,” stated Mayor Tyler Gandam.

“The City of Wetaskiwin is committed to finding solutions for those experiencing homelessness and it is imperative we continue to get support from the agencies and orders of government that we have partnered with.”

The city says they will continue to pursue funding related to this project including additional grant funds, and funding from other sources to minimize the overall fiscal impact to the municipality.



shaela.dansereau@pipestoneflyer.ca

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