Red Deer’s long quest for an around-the-clock emergency shelter could soon be over.
Funding has yet to be announced but Community and Social Services Minister Irfan Sabir indicated his support for the project earlier this week.
“After consulting with community leaders and city council members, we will be investing in an emergency shelter for Red Deer,” said Sabir in a statement.
“The details of this commitment are still being finalized but we will have more to share in the coming weeks.”
The news will be welcomed by those who work with the city’s vulnerable population.
Last Monday, Red Deer city council approved an extension that allows Safe Harbour to run a warming centre for addicted people right through to March 2020.
The centre, set up in trailers in the Rail Lands area northwest of Superstore, was supposed to be temporary and close at the end of the month.
But, citing a “crisis” caused by a “horrific” increase in drug addiction, Safe Harbour asked the City of Red Deer to extend a year-round permit for the warming centre and as well as 26 overnight shelter beds.
Mayor Tara Veer mentioned in council that the province had recently indicated that a more permanent shelter solution was being considered for Red Deer. Veer was hopeful that the one-year extension would be the last.