City of Red Deer calls for proposals

The City of Red Deer is asking for proposals to operate both or either of two projects to help address homelessness in the city.

The City of Red Deer is asking for proposals to operate both or either of two projects to help address homelessness in the city.

One project will involve the creation of an assertive housing outreach team, which will focus on assisting homeless individuals and families move into housing.

The other project is a rapid re-housing service, which will focus on securing housing in the local rental market for homeless individuals and families by engaging landlords and providing service to the landlord and tenant.

There is an information session on the request for proposals set for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Crimson Star Room, 2nd floor, City Hall.

Roxana Nielsen Stewart, program co-ordinator of housing with social planning for the City of Red Deer, said the proposals are part of the paradigm shift that is happening in the world of housing first and homelessness, with the goal being to provide housing for people and support for them, with wraparound services to be successful in their housing, rather than just providing shelter.

“In the next year, the Community Housing Advisory Board is looking to support our most vulnerable population,” Nielsen Stewart said.

“These two requests for proposals will assist both chronically and episodically homeless individuals by moving them into housing and supporting them in permanent homes.”

Nielsen Stewart said they don’t have an exact number for how many people are homeless in Red Deer.

“Red Deer does not do a homeless count so we do not have a concrete number,” Nielsen Stewart said.

“The problem with homeless counts is that they’re not good concrete numbers and there is lots of debate in this sector about the validity of them.”

The Community Housing Advisory Board uses numbers of those using shelters in the city to get a feel for how many people are homeless in Red Deer.

The amount of funding for the proposals has not been announced. It will be provided by the provincial government through its Outreach and Support Services Grant.

Proposals are due by 10 a.m. on April 7 and can be dropped off at Alexander Way at 4817 48th St. The Community Housing Advisory Board will review and make recommendations for funding to Red Deer city council for all proposals based on design, budget and clearly defined outcomes. The proposals fit under Red Deer’s EveryOne’s Home: 5 Year Community Plan Towards Ending Homelessness in Red Deer and the province’s A Plan for Alberta: Ending Homelessness in 10 Years.

For more information, contact Roxana Nielsen Stewart at 403-309-8592.