Warming centre gets two-year permit

Plan for community concerns to be developed

Safe Harbour Society’s winter warming centre has been approved for two more years of operation.

On Monday city council amended the recommendation to two years from three.

The temporary centre has been open since 2015, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. between from November to April. Made out of two shipping containers, the centre is located in Safe Harbour’s parking lot at 5256 53rd Avenue.

The city has been working on a shelter study to address the city’s long-term shelter needs for the homeless, as well as advocating for provincial funding for a new shelter.

Coun. Paul Harris said he preferred a one-year operational permit and was the only councillor to vote against the warming centre resolution.

A few local businesses were against the continued operation of the warming centre because of vandalism and garbage and drug paraphernalia littering the area.

“We have businesses threatening to move out of the community because of this particular shelter,” Harris said.

“I do not want to lose one more business from the downtown.”

Council voted unanimously to reaffirm its advocacy position to the province with respect to shelter, mental health and addiction; requested administration work with Safe Harbour, social services, RCMP, and the community partners to develop a plan to respond to community concerns with respect to crime, vandalism, cleanliness and safety in the area; and to bring back semi-annual updates as to progress.

Harris said sometimes the community puts the burden of responsibility on Safe Harbour for the issues in the area and that’s unfair.

“Because they set their agency up there they’re attracting people. But the problems circulating around the agency aren’t theirs to own. It’s the community’s to own. So it’s really important that we work with them and provide support for Safe Harbour Society to address some of the issues not only on their property, but the community needs to work on property around them,” Harris said.

Kath Hoffman, Safe Harbour executive director, said issues in the area existed before Safe Harbour.

“We’re not the problem. The problem was already there. We came to help with the problem,” Hoffman said.

“It’s not getting worse because we’re there. It’s because it’s getting worse all over Red Deer.”

She said Safe Harbour has worked closely with the city on its shelter study and looks forward to its implementation so temporary solutions are no longer needed.

szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Just Posted

Doctor first in Red Deer to offer Mohs surgical suite for skin cancer

A local doctor says a skin cancer surgery newly offered locally will… Continue reading

Methamphetamine, THC found in half-million dollar seizure and Bowden Institution

Nearly half a million dollars worth of drugs and other contraband was… Continue reading

Community support needed to bring Canadian Finals Rodeo to Red Deer

Bid from Westerner Park and Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce

Long-tenured former Blackfalds mayor recognized by Alberta Urban Municipalities Association

After 19 years serving on Blackfalds council, Melodie Stol was thrilled her… Continue reading

Preserving Innisfail pioneer home means Isabella Sinclair’s story will live on

House from 1890 will be moved next month to historical village

VIDEO: Red Deerians taste what the city has to offer

Red Deerians sampled some of the finest foods Central Alberta restaurants have… Continue reading

New columnist joining Advocate team

Market Gypsy starts on November 30

Volunteer with victim services in Red Deer

Learn more at info session on Nov. 27

Updated: Missing Sylvan Lake women found

Women were reported missing earlier this week

Liberals propose billions for affordable housing, including individual benefits

A Liberal government fond of promising help for those working hard to… Continue reading

Alberta Party sees growth in Central Alberta

Greg Clark addressed health care needs addressed in Red Deer

Ponoka council freezes Ponoka Fire Department spending

All discretionary spending frozen until full budget numbers are presented

WATCH: Ponoka’s Festival of Trees sees continued support

Three days of celebration and fundraising held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month