Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin

Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin

Civic Building to home 24/7 Integrated Response Hub

The 24/7 Integrated Response Hub will offer comprehensive wrap-around services for those in need.

Wetaskiwin’s 24/7 Integrated Response Hub, run by The Open Door Association, is set to run out of the Wetaskiwin Civic Building this winter. The Civic Building, located at 4904-51 Street, has previously been used to house an emergency shelter in the past. However, the 24/7 Integrated Response Hub differs in that it is not a shelter.

The 24/7 Integrated Response Hub will offer comprehensive wrap-around services for those in need including a 24-hour drop-in centre.

The use of the Civic Building as the 24/7 Integrated Response Hub’s location follows a significant amount of public disagreement about the previously proposed location at the Oct. 26, 2020 regular City Council meeting.

Residents and business owners near the proposed location at 5417- 36 Ave Wetaskiwin spoke at the public hearing regarding the re-zoning of that location to make it acceptable for use for the 24/7 Integrated Response Hub.

The majority of the speakers were upset with the location choice for the Hub citing that they believed it would draw more crime into the area where they are already dealing with a significant amount of property crime and disturbances. Some businesses threatened litigation to dissuade the use of the 5417- 36 Ave location.

As a non-profit organization, The Open Door Association said that given the threat of litigation they would no longer pursue that location for the 24/7 Integrated Response Hub.

“The community turned on us before we could even get that out,” said the Executive Director of The Open Door Association, Jessica Hutton, at the Oct. 26 Council meeting about the choice of location.

This public hearing resulted in a significant amount of discussion among Council.

“I am really grateful that you guys are looking at community and trying to do the best you can to try and help us because I believe that this Hub that you have in mind is something that is going to be a vital game changer for our community and can solve a lot of the issues we have in our community,” Councillor Blatz-Morgan said when addressing Hutton. “It’s true, no matter where you put it, somebody is going to have an issue with it.”

“I feel that people will see the results of this and will be happy in the end.”

On Nov. 2, 2020 the City of Wetaskiwin’s Emergency Advisory Committee declared a State of Local Emergency that allows the City to utilize any building or facility to provide shelter and integrated supports to Wetaskiwin and area’s vulnerable population.

READ MORE: City of Wetaskiwin declares State of Local Emergency to provide immediate assistance to vulnerable persons in area

During the State of Local Emergency the City of Wetaskiwin has decided to utilize the Civic Building for the 24/7 Integrated Response Hub.

“Over the past three winters, City Council has made the care of our vulnerable population and those experiencing homelessness a priority,” said Wetaskiwin Mayor Tyler Gandam. “Offering 24-hour access to supportive programming this winter through The Open Door’s Integrated Response Hub will transform the operation of what was previously just an emergency, drop-in shelter—one that didn’t offer the resources which have been desperately needed in Wetaskiwin for decades. I know this will take time to produce significant change, but we need to start somewhere.”

The City of Wetaskiwin says it will continue to work with The Open Door Association to develop a long-term strategy for addressing homelessness in the community. Part of this strategy includes identifying a viable, permanent location for the Hub.

“The Open Door is committed to the mobilization of a 24/7 Integrated Response Hub that will provide many supports to vulnerable individuals beyond just an emergency housing component,” said Jessica Hutton. “We recognize the necessity of responding to more than just the identified homelessness emergency in order to make a lasting impact.”



shaela.dansereau@pipestoneflyer.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A judge has found an Edmonton woman guilty of manslaughter in the death of her five-year-old daughter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of 5-year-old girl

The woman was charged and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and assault with weapons, including a belt and a spatula

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Alberta identifies 2,042 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Jason Kenney urges federal government to push U.S. for surplus COVID-19 vaccines

‘It makes no sense for our neighbours and regional states to be sitting on doses that we cannot use,’ the premier said

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

Manluk Centre: Wetaskiwin Regional Aquatics and Fitness will be closed to the public until further notice beginning May 10, 2021. Image/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Manluk Centre to close following new provincial restrictions

The Manluk Centre will be closed to the public until further notice beginning May 10, 2021.

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Big truck semi trailer moves on the highway towards sunset
Alberta’s cross-border truckers to be vaccinated at Montana rest stop

2,000 Alberta truck drivers who transport goods across the border will be able to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Montana

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

Most Read