The city has proposed five locations that could be considered for a mobile supervised consumption site (SCS). I believe Turning Point and Safe Harbour are prepared to work with the city on an application for a mobile SCS as a temporary measure until a more permanent location can be agreed upon.
The city wants Alberta Health Services (and presumably Health Canada) to put more resources into related services as well as harm reduction.
The former Bettenson site on the corner of 43 Street and 52 Avenue has been redeveloped to a parking lot and is one of the sites the city proposes for a mobile SCS. I don’t know what the long-term vision is for this land.
How about if the city and AHS work together with the federal government, Turning Point and Safe Harbour to turn the parking lot into a fixed location for SCS using ATCO trailers? Obviously there would need to be some site servicing required to hook up water, sewer and electrical in the interim. If demand exceeds supply, more trailers could be added. This would allow for washroom facilities and other services on site.
It could take a long time for negotiations between the city and the other governments to conclude and for the necessary funds to be committed. In the meantime, there would be a fixed location on the edge of the downtown where residences are not in close proximity. The existing commercial enterprises appear to be mostly health-related. The proposed location is still in the river valley so a steep uphill walk to the hospital grounds is not required.
Ultimately a facility could be built that encompasses the agreed upon elements that the community response to the opioid crisis, which affects all walks of life, should encompass: prevention, harm reduction, and treatment.
Would there be support in the community for such a facility?
Bill and Pearl Franz, Red Deer