Alberta looking to added additional shelter space in Edmonton

The Alberta government is looking to create additional shelter spaces in Edmonton.

The announcement comes a day after the Coalition for Justice and Human Rights said they were taking legal action against the City of Edmonton for treatment of the unhoused population.

Friday, the province said they are looking at opening 200 new 24/7 emergency shelter places throughout the winter, and are accepting applications from operators who may be able to provide those spaces.

“We are taking steps to support the City of Edmonton to reduce homelessness and promote public safety by connecting vulnerable citizens to appropriate supports. Shelter space is available in the city for all people experiencing homelessness and we will continue to work with the city – and all municipalities to ensure that space is available for all those who need it,” said Jason Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services in a statement.

Some agencies have already been contacted after the province began an application process in July when they were looking for 100 permanent Indigenous-led spaces, up to 100 permanent women-only spaces, and temporary winter spaces.

“Edmonton is experiencing an unprecedented housing and houselessness crisis. More than 3,000 people are experiencing houselessness on any given day in Edmonton, with over 1,200 people accessing shelters or sleeping outdoors. I am very pleased that the Government of Alberta is increasing investments to respond to this crisis and support unhoused Edmontonians,” said Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi.

The province says roughly $22 million will be allocated to the City of Edmonton’s homelessness responses throughout 2023 and 2024 to try and increase the number of permanent and long-term spaces.

Currently, there are 1,527 available spaces.

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