Alberta government committed $7 million last year for an integrated shelter service to help Red Deer's homeless population. (Photo by Advocate staff)

City of Red Deer finds only one viable location for emergency shelter

City of Red Deer administration is recommending the Cannery Row Emergency Shelter receive another extension in order for it to stay operational.

In a press release late Friday, city officials said that after an extensive search for a new location, no other appropriate options were found. The current location in Cannery Row is permitted to operate until Sept. 30.

“The search and call for business opportunities has resulted in only one viable option for the temporary emergency shelter, and that location is a lease opportunity at the current Cannery Row site located in Railyards,” said Sarah Tittemore, Community Services General Manager.

“Administration has not been able to find another viable lease option for the temporary emergency shelter, if Council doesn’t want to pursue the lease option, we’ll need further direction on alternative options.”

Council will receive an update on Monday and give direction on next steps, including for administration to pursue securing a temporary site for temporary emergency shelter provision until a permanent site is operational.

During a May 26 meeting, Council approved funding for mitigation strategies in the Railyard neighbourhood.

They approved close to $41,000 for a plan that includes tactical implementations such as enhanced business and resident engagement, security, cleaning and new programs such as a safe walk program.

Also approved was up to $8,500 to cover business license fees in 2022 for businesses located in the Railyards area.