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Alberta will spend a combined $187 million for homelessness and addiction in Edmonton, Calgary.ATN News

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The Alberta government has pledged five immediate actions. and will use an additional $63 million over two years to reduce homelessness across the province. announced on saturday

The province also announced it would spend more than $124 million to increase access to mental health and addiction services in Edmonton and Calgary.

“We know this will take several years to complete. Nothing will change overnight,” Prime Minister Jason Kenney said during a news conference on Saturday morning. “But we are committed to that long-term work.”

Money for addiction and mental health services will fund the recovery community. Hybrid Health Center and Police A medical unit in a provincial prison medical detox and the Hazard Reduction and Recovery team. Over two years, $54 million will be put into operation and $70 million will be used in funding.

meanwhile The government plans to make the province’s funded shelters accessible at any time as needed. Top Funding Between Community Organizations in Edmonton and Calgary; Improve data collection and reporting and piloting a service center model Some shelters in Edmonton and Calgary connect people directly with the support and services they need.

It is also committed to expanding the number of winter shelters in Edmonton, Wetaskiwin and Lethbridge, and eight rural communities in northern and central Alberta.

man standing on pedestal "Alberta" put a label on the front  He spoke into the microphone and held a piece of paper on which the words were written.  The tower in the city can be seen in the background.
Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi thanked the prime minister on Saturday for working with him on the city’s homelessness issue. (Emily Fitzpatrick/CBC)

Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said: “These investments show that our collaborative approach is working. And we are making life better for the struggling Edmontonians,” Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said at a news conference on Saturday.

last saturday It is the first time Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee has seen a systematic approach. with the final goal of acquiring permanent residence come together since he started his tenure he said during a press conference.

“It’s exciting,” McFee said. [the Edmonton Police Service] Look forward to working with our partners…to make [the community] safer, but also enabling people to do business and live here.”

Changing the way of homelessness

The announcement follows recommendations in a report submitted last summer by the Coordinated Community Response to Homelessness Task Force — a team of civil servants, academics and community group members. established by the provincial government in November 2021

The group examined how homelessness is affecting communities across Alberta. Review current access to services such as housing and develop a model to deliver a more coordinated community response to homelessness.

The report contains 14 recommendations aimed at creating a clear direction and accountability in tackling homelessness. Build expectations about shelter and better support employees and help prevent people from experiencing homelessness in the first place.

last saturday The provincial government has issued an action plan on homelessness. This document describes the solutions to use in troubleshooting. and provides further details on 5 immediate actions committed to

The government will help shelters transition to a more hospitable approach: instead of relying on housing as an alternative to housing. Employees will help people return or move into more stable housing.

It will also help the shelter adopt a recovery approach. Many homeless people use prescription drugs. Therefore, the approach connects people to detox and healing services. and other health care facilities if they need help

The Ministry of Community and Social Services has developed an outcome-oriented approach.

Action steps include the creation of a homeless management information system. Therefore, stakeholders no longer need to use multiple systems to develop “logical models” and specific outcomes for shelters. and working with stakeholders to test different approaches. that can help the homeless better

winter shelter area

The Alberta government will use $9 million this fiscal year to expand the winter shelter. said the action plan

Edmonton will receive $5 million to build 450 additional sites, bringing up to 1,050 urban shelters.

Wetaskiwin and Lethbridge will each receive $1 million. Wetaskiwin’s allocation will create 50 new sites, partly to compensate for the temporary closure of the 20-bed overnight accommodation. Lethbridge’s share will add another 70 areas.

The remaining $2 million will be split into eight rural communities: Slave Lake, Cold Lake, Peace River, Lac La Biche, Edson, Drayton Valley, Grande Prairie and Leduc to create up to 100 shelters.

expanding shelter services

Just four shelters — Hope Mission in Edmonton, Salvation Army-Wagner Center in Calgary, Lloydminster Men’s Shelter and Mustard Seed Red Deer, which does not operate around the clock — will receive funding from the provincial government, the plan said.

The government will spend $4.5 million this fiscal year. To enable these facilities to be available 24/7, including meals and sleepovers.

“Our hearts are recovering. We want to build our numbers,” Hope Mission executive director Bruce Reith told reporters on Saturday.

Meanwhile, $2.5 million will go to some shelters in Edmonton and Calgary this fiscal year. to pilot a service center model These shelters will provide “Direct connection” to various social services to people.

The selected shelter will provide accommodation. on-site service and facilitate access to rehabilitation services such as harm reduction or detox. The right accommodation option cultural support and primary health care

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said the central model “Will make sure we’re not warehouse people.”

“We allow people to use a graceful approach to get them out of the situation they find themselves facing. By providing all the support that is in the shelter,” Gondeck told reporters during a news conference in Calgary on Saturday.

The six-month pilot program will begin this fall. said the plan

The Ministry of Community and Social Services will evaluate the results. The results will be used to inform other community service hub models.

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