Kath Hoffman, Safe Harbour executive director, stands outside the temporary warming shelter. City council approved 20 new mats for the warming shelter at Monday’s meeting. (Photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocate staff)

Provincial emergency shelter support welcomed in Red Deer

Safe Harbour Society awaiting financial details from province

More than anyone, Kath Hoffman knows how badly Red Deer needs a permanent emergency shelter.

The Safe Harbour Society executive director also knows how hard her staff works to provide the support and care local residents on the fringes count on without having the kind of dedicated facility needed.

So, last week’s pledge of support of a around-the-clock Red Deer emergency shelter by Community and Social Services Minister Irfan Sabir is a big deal.

“We’re exited to hear that announcement, really excited, because Red Deer has been waiting a long time to get our shelter facility to be what it needs to be,” said Hoffman on Tuesday.

Sabir said in a statement that the decision to back an emergency shelter came after consulting with community leaders and city council members.

Financial details are expected to be released in coming weeks, said the minister.

“I think it’s a great announcement and kudos to the city for the hard work they did to advocate continually and continually for this,” said Hoffman.

She also credits her staff who have been “trying to keep things going on with the Band-aids in place, just trying to keep everybody warm and safe.”

It is hoped that the province will provide both capital funding to create an emergency shelter, as well as operating funding.

“What we have to do, as always, is know what we have (in funding) before we know what we can make,” she said. “We’re waiting to hear what kind of capital they’ll be releasing and then in turn how do we make that work.”

Depending on how much money comes through, the society may have to consider fundraising in the community as well.

“It all depends on what they give us.”

Safe Harbour has 26 beds through its mats program, with another 20 available through the warming centre and 10 day-sleep beds.

It is hoped the new emergency shelter would be equipped to offer more private options for people who suffer from social anxiety or other challenges that make them uncomfortable in group settings.

“We’ve learned a lot in the last couple of years on the way to design a shelter that can shelter those complex needs more appropriately for people.”



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Everything from coffee makers to coats in latest Canada Games sale

Sale runs 1 to 7 p.m. at Games office at Bower Place mall

Town of Sylvan Lake has big ideas for lakeshore

Day mooring docks wanted but first water licence needed from province

Red Deer business moves away from overdose prevention site

At least one Red Deer business has moved away from the temporary… Continue reading

Canada Revenue Agency tax services back online after ‘hardware’ problems

OTTAWA — The websites Canadians use to file their taxes online were… Continue reading

Roof structures failed before Radiohead stage came down, inquest hears

TORONTO — Metal structures meant to hold a roof over a stage… Continue reading

Opinion: Business tax relief is a sound idea

NDP leader should avoid picking winners and losers

Svechnikov scores in overtime, Carolina beats Montreal 2-1

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes struggled to beat Montreal goaltender Carey… Continue reading

Canadian men’s soccer squad off to Gold Cup with 4-1 win over French Guiana

VANCOUER, B.C. — Canada’s men’s soccer team is looking to the future… Continue reading

Inquest into fatal Radiohead stage collapse set to get underway in Toronto

TORONTO — An inquest is set to get underway today into the… Continue reading

The Latest: Streisand apologizes for Jackson comments

NEW YORK — The Latest on Barbra Streisand’s comments about the sexual… Continue reading

Pricey Titanic wreck tours hope to bring new life to a century-old story

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Adventure tourists with money in the bank have… Continue reading

Most Read