Body of Red Deer woman found on school playground

A 60-year-old Red Deer woman who was asked to leave a transitional housing program for breaking the sobriety rule was found dead last Friday morning at an elementary school.

A 60-year-old Red Deer woman who was asked to leave a transitional housing program for breaking the sobriety rule was found dead last Friday morning at an elementary school.

Red Deer RCMP Cpl. Kathe DeHeer said police were called to West Park Elementary School at 7:50 a.m. when a body was found in the playground by a school employee. School was not in session that day.

DeHeer said the death was not deemed suspicious and appeared to be self-induced. It may or may not have been accidental. The investigation is closed.

The woman, who was living at Abundant Safe Living House in West Park, was told to leave Thursday night.

The housing program is for women who have completed addictions treatment.

James White, director with Abundant Safe Living House, said he had no choice but to evict the woman.

“When you have a house full of women who are working hard on sobriety and one is in there with an open bottle of vodka sitting on the table, you’re left with no option,” White said.

“She just wanted to go on her own way. She didn’t want to tell us where she was going. It’s really out of our hands what a client decides to do ultimately.”

She could have gone to the overnight mat program run by Central Alberta’s Safe Harbour Society for Health and Housing, he said.

Abundant Safe Living House has two homes for women, with a total of 10 beds, and one house for men with five beds.

The privately operated homes, which do not receive government funding, provides affordable housing with a zero tolerance policy for drug and alcohol use. Clients must be employed.

White said about 30 people have lived at the houses since they opened in December with “tons of success.”

“While under the care of Abundant Safe Living House, she seemed to be doing fantastic. What she chose to do was no reflection of what was going on as far as the service provided,” he said.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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