(File photo by Advocate staff)

(File photo by Advocate staff)

City council to discuss extension to downtown homeless shelter

Red Deer city council meets today

City council will consider extending the operation of the downtown homeless shelter for up to a year at a special council meeting this afternoon.

Council will consider a recommendation from administration to extend the zoning at the former Cannery Row site for the temporary shelter by giving first reading to a land use bylaw amendment to enable the site exception for a period of 12 months ending May 31, 2022.

A year ago the temporary shelter was established at 5239-53 Ave. to provide homeless sleepers with more space after the pandemic began. A 12-month license was approved.

On March 29, council voted to move the shelter and gave Safe Harbour Society two months to find another location.

A permanent homeless shelter, promised to Red Deer by the province, won’t be built for two to three years. Meanwhile area businesses continue to complain about chronic crime and social disorder from some shelter clients.

City administration is working to provide options on potential sites to relocate the shelter, but in a report that council will discuss today it said: “It is clear that under the current conditions, there is an insufficient time frame to achieve the desired outcomes.”

“Administration is recommending that council extend the zoning at the Cannery Row temporary shelter site for 1 year to ensure continuity of services for our most vulnerable while we continue to work to relocate the site.”



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