Red Deer needs to house more ‘chronically homeless’ people

Acute problems make them harder to place, city council hears

Different housing strategies are needed to serve Red Deer’s growing number of chronically homeless, hard-to-place residents, city council heard.

Yvonne Peebles, chair of the Community Housing Advisory Board told city councillors that there’s a increase of “high acuity clients“ in the city with complex mental health, substance use or chronic medical issues. These people require specialized supports, beyond what Red Deer’s Housing First program can provide.

Pebbles suggested that council use $100,000 from a housing initiative no longer being delivered to expand the Rapid Rehousing program being offered by Central Alberta Women’s Outreach. She said the Outreach‘s program can provide more appropriate options for difficult-to-place city residents.

Peebles believes expanding this program would reduce how long people remain homeless, and also make better use of the resources available.

Councillors Lawrence Lee and Dianne Wyntjes, who both sit on the local housing advisory board, agreed with this reallocation of funds.

”I strongly support the recommendation… it will serve a population that really needs it,” said Lee, before the motion was unanimously approved by council.

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