(Contributed photo.)

Red Deer funds outreach team to approach homeless campers with housing options

Just cleaning up ‘rough sleeper camps’ doesn’t solve the problem, council told

A new outreach team will seek out homeless people in Red Deer who are sleeping in doorways or parks to connect them with housing options.

Red Deer city council approved $250,000 for a one-year pilot project for an “assertive street engagement team.”

Safe Harbour will receive this money from the provincial Outreach and Support Services Initiative to assemble an outreach team that will approach people sleeping in makeshift shelters or outside in the open — and provide them with shelter.

Council heard the city spends about $600,000 annually to clean up “rough sleeper camps,“ but this is not resulting in more chronically homeless people being housed.

“Frequent campers do not have a large history with Red Deer’s housing first system,” states a report prepared for council.

Since such outreach teams are making a difference in other communities, Coun. Dianne Wyntjes hopes that reaching out directly to vulnerable, homeless people — many with mental illnesses or additions — will be another piece of the puzzle of solving homelessness in the city.

Coun. Ken Johnston also spoke in favour of the recommendation from city administration and the Community Housing Advisory Board.

”This strikes back against the status quo,” which isn’t working, by addressing “what has become an annual, seasonal challenge,” said Johnston.

Council unanimously approved to the project in the belief the effort will reduce homeless encampments and the annual cost of cleaning them up.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: former colleague

A professor who once worked with an RCMP intelligence official charged with… Continue reading

More than 100 people participate in the Light the Night Walk in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Michael Wark was 27 when he was diagnosed with cancer.… Continue reading

‘Big bang’ precedes Red Deer house fire, says neighbour

A Red Deer home was heavily damaged by a fire early Friday… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Grilling meat at Shelter Ribfest in Red Deer

The first-ever Shelter Ribfest is on this weekend at Gary W. Harris… Continue reading

Red Deer man arrested, charged for drug-related offences

A Red Deer man is facing a number of charges, including possession… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 10 effortlessly stylish items for fall

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

UAW members on the job at GM plants after contract expires

DETROIT — The four-year contract between General Motors and the United Auto… Continue reading

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

Police seeking multiple suspects in shooting that left 1 dead and 5 wounded

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — A teenage boy is dead and five other people… Continue reading

Trump front and centre as talk of trade, jobs emerges on campaign trail

OTTAWA — A familiar U.S. face finally showed up front and centre… Continue reading

RDC Kings and Queens cross country dominate on home turf

There was a lot of pride floating around amongst the host team… Continue reading

Hunting Hills Lightning cruise past Foothills Falcons in high school football action

The Hunting Hills Lightning showed their Football Alberta ranking was no fluke… Continue reading

Two students dead, several seriously injured in Vancouver Island bus rollover

Two University of Victoria students died and several people were injured after… Continue reading

Most Read