Red Deer city council will look at public consultation options for a new permanent shelter on Monday. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer city council to consider public input options for permanent shelter

Council to decide if Red Deer or Alberta Government should lead public input effort

Council will consider public participation and advocacy options for the permanent shelter at Monday’s council meeting.

City council recently directed administration to develop a public participation strategy that would inform decisions about the future permanent shelter.

City of Red Deer says it has very little formalized decision-making authority under the current memorandum of understanding with the province.

“This is a complex project, and we want to ensure our community can influence decisions about shelter in the best possible ways,” says city corporate communications manager Tara Shand in a news release.

Related:

Downtown Red Deer contains most potential shelter locations, according to released map

“Engaging citizens for the right reasons, at the right time in the right ways will help us not only ensure their input is considered in the process, but also help us rebuild trust at a time when people have told us the current process is not working for them, and they want us to do things differently,” Shand says.

Two options will be presented to council on Monday.

The first suggests the city proceed with a government-to-government advocacy strategy that calls on the province to consult and engage with the community directly. Under this scenario, the City of Red Deer will not conduct any formal public participation until the city has formal authority over the decisions being made as it relates to land use, such as through a public hearing process.

Related:

‘There will be a clean slate’: Proposed riverfront shelter site is nixed by Red Deer city council

Under a second option, the city will proceed with public participation on site selection with city council launching a public advocacy strategy and overseeing an indirect consultation process where citizens provide input on what and how they would like to be consulted. The city would then share that feedback with the province.

“We know there is support for shelter in our community. We know a shelter is needed,” says general manager of community services Sarah Tittemore.

“How we get there is the unknown right now, but as an organization, we are committed to working with our community, and with the provincial government to achieve the shared goal of an integrated, purpose-built shelter in Red Deer.”

The permanent shelter is a provincially-funded project that aims to provide services needed by the community’s vulnerable population to support their journey into successful permanent housing.

For more information on shelter services in Red Deer, please visit www.reddeer.ca/shelter.



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