An additional $5,000 was approved by Red Deer city council to pay for a move of a supportive mental health housing program to Amethyst House from the former Buffalo hotel.
City council was told this amount would be added to $36,212 that the city already paid to cover costs associated with the move of “high acuity” individuals, who have been continually and/or repeatedly homeless.
Last year, their Buffalo program was relocated to Amethyst House, the former Econo Lodge motel, located on the west side of Gaetz Avenue, at the bottom of the south hill. It was formerly in the downtown Buffalo Hotel.
Expenses included the purchase of a hotbox (for bug extermination), new mattress covers, an IT system move, security cameras move, and other furniture purchases.
The Canadian Mental Health Association, which runs the Permanent Supportive Housing program, with 24/7 staffing, recently reviewed expenditures and found a $5,000 shortfall.
City administrators confirmed this and recommended that the money come from the Outreach and Support Services Initiative grant, provided by the province.
Coun. Ken Johnston said it’s a small price to pay for a program that’s now more functional, giving clients a safe and secure home.