(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.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UCP leader Jason Kenney makes stop in Red Deer

A rally was held in the north end of the city Saturday afternoon

Good-bye ice and snow, hello potholes on Red Deer roads

City workers will be spending 20 hours a day on various road repairs

Fog advisory in effect for Red Deer, central Alberta

Heavy fog is affecting visibility for central Alberta drivers Saturday morning. A… Continue reading

Climate change’s impact on outdoor hockey discussed in Red Deer

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance held a forum Friday at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Collision between Red Deer transit bus and truck investigated by RCMP

No one on bus was hurt, truck driver had minor injuries

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Montreal priest stabbed during mass leaves hospital; suspect to be charged

MONTREAL — A Catholic priest who was stabbed as he was celebrating… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $35.7 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $35.7 million jackpot… Continue reading

New report details impact of proposed NS spaceport in event of explosion or fire

HALIFAX — The head of a company proposing to open Canada’s only… Continue reading

Quebec man convicted in Mafia-linked conspiracy deported to Italy

MONTREAL — Michele Torre, a Quebec man convicted in 1996 for his… Continue reading

Republican Karl Rove says conservatives need more than simplistic slogans

OTTAWA — Legendary Republican campaign strategist Karl Rove, known for his no-holds-barred… Continue reading

B.C. hospital’s use as shelter ‘clarion call’ about housing crisis, says mayor

The 10-bed regional hospital that serves the medical needs of 5,000 people… Continue reading

Puddle splashing: A rite of spring

Is there anything more fun than driving through water-filled potholes in the… Continue reading

Special evaluations can help seniors cope with cancer care

Before she could start breast cancer treatment, Nancy Simpson had to walk… Continue reading

Most Read