Wetaskiwin Friendship Center gains momentum

Wetaskiwin Friendship Center gains momentum

Wetaskiwin city council reinforces its support behind Friendship Center

A Community Friendship Center for Wetaskiwin is moving forward.

Representatives of the Wetaskiwin Community Solutions Committee (CSC), Keith Durance and Tony Goode, attended city council’s Jan. 22 meeting to give a short presentation of where the committee is at with the development of a Community Friendship Center.

“We’re looking at a Friendship Center as being a hub … bringing government agencies to the homeless of Wetaskiwin,” said Durance.

The CSC made a previous presentation for council regarding the center in the fall of 2017, and the committee was formed two years earlier in 2015 due to concerns form the business and residential community.

“This has been a long history, decades in the making,” said Durance.

Durance says the CSC is just one of the agencies in the city working towards providing a solution for homelessness and vagrancy in Wetaskiwin.

During the committee’s June 2017 strategic planning sessions, it was discussed how there are multiple agencies and supports in the community, but they are not centrally located in a hub, which would increase accessibility.

The CSC has split into four subgroups to tackle the different areas of the Friendship Center: logistics, history, communication and financial.

The committee is also in the midst of looking for a location to develop the center, in the city.

While the committee has no financial request for council during their meeting, councillors were informed the CSC does foresee coming back to council in the future for that reason.

However, Goode says there were other supports the CSC needed from council to help the project move forward: the committee was looking for a resolution of support from council for the CSC, a letter of support for the purpose of applying for grants and an opportunity to report back to council quarterly. Each of the three requests were met with council’s approval.

amelia.naismith@pipestoneflyer.ca