Red Deer Dream Centre is only about $97,000 away from raising $1.4 million to complete its addictions treatment centre.
Recently the project received $209,555 from the federal government’s Reaching Home Program which is administered through the City of Red Deer.
The Community Housing Advisory Board acts as an advisory board to city council on affordable housing, homelessness, services/activities related to the goal of ending homelessness.
The board reviews funding applications and makes recommendations to council for the designated Reaching Home funding stream, while Urban Aboriginal Voices Society advises on all Indigenous stream funding.
Dream Centre co-chair Wes Giesbrecht said funding approval shows that there is a consensus for what is needed in Red Deer.
“We’re using it for structural steel that’s been already installed, and kitchen equipment we’re in the process of selecting, and the installation and purchase of the elevator,” said Giesbrecht.
The former Lotus nightclub building, at 4614 50 Ave., is being renovated to become a 40-bed, Christian-based treatment centre for men.
“Capital-wise, we’re just about there.”
Giesbrecht said the structure has been gutted, new supports are in place, and pilings are done. Concrete work is happening on the second level this week, and soon interior walls can go up.
“So we’re better than halfway. We’re hoping to have everything cleaned up by early December, and we’d like to be operational by the first quarter of 2022.”
Red Deer Dream Centre is still fundraising to cover operational expenses. For information on its Freedom Funders campaign visit rddc.ca/donate.
He said addictions are at the root of why many people are homeless, and addictions have become a bigger problem during the pandemic. However, the Dream Centre won’t be a homeless shelter, and it will be a sad day when Safe Harbour Society’s temporary homeless shelter closes at the end of September.
“We’re not taking people off the street struggling with addictions. We are taking people from a detox centre who have the want and desire to get well.”
Safe Harbour’s shelter at the former Cannery Row Bingo site was established as a temporary shelter under a state of emergency at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when more space was needed for distancing.
After Sept. 30, Safe Harbour will be left with 26 mat sleeping spaces as well as 20 detox spaces on its original downtown site.