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City of Red Deer

City reaching out to tax payers about location for permanent homeless shelter

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Public participation about permanent shelter site criteria approved

Within the next month, the community will have an opportunity to share their input on the site criteria for a future permanent shelter site. Council approved this direction during their Council meeting last night, following extensive conversations around formal roles and responsibilities and opportunity for collaboration outside a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the province.

“While site selection is not part of the formal agreement between The City and the Province, we believe that the Province will support a recommendation in good spirit as part of a shared responsibility to providing shelter services in our community,” said Mayor Ken Johnston. “When citizens come to the table to discuss criteria, we ask that they come with an open mind. Consider all the factors in selecting a location, not just proximity to your home, your business, your property. The permanent shelter will not be what we currently have, it will be an integrated shelter for our vulnerable population to access services that will support them on their journey to permanent housing.”

Administration will begin a public participation strategy and begin implementation within the coming weeks. The resolution approved by Council outlined the following deadlines:

  • June 20, 2022: conduct timely, strategic, solution-focused community engagement about site criteria prior to this date. Inclusive of in-person and online opportunities to provide input to be promoted.
  • July 18, 2022: Council to agree to a location to recommend to the Province on or before this date.

“We are beginning public participation based on the understanding our community wants to help us to address shelter needs.  We are starting with a clean slate when it comes to actual location,” said Interim City Manager Tara Lodewyk. “We recognize that some citizens will want to propose specific locations but we want to dig deeper to understand why.  We will be asking further questions – why do they think that site is a good option, what does it have that would make it the right place and see how that aligns or builds upon the criteria we already have in place.”

In the coming weeks, The City will share public participation opportunities with the community through social media, local advertising, website updates and email notifications. If residents would like to be added to the email list for updates on the public participation and general permanent shelter information, please email [email protected]. More information about the permanent shelter process can be found at www.reddeer.ca/shelter.

City of Red Deer

City Council grinding out a solution for the site of a permanent homeless shelter

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Council approves Shelter Site Evaluation Matrix

A site criteria evaluation matrix will help guide the site selection process for the future shelter in Red Deer after being approved by City Council today. During Council meetings held on June 24, 27 and July 4, Council worked through multiple exercises to determine five criteria, 22 sub-criteria and the weighting assigned to each – making up the Shelter Site Evaluation Matrix as follows:
SITE CRITERIA SUB-CRITERIA POINTS PERCENTAGES
Ability to acquire site 20
Cost 40%
Zoning 15%
Timing 40%
General 5%
Adequate size 20
Adequate land size (outside/inside) 30%
Can accommodate purpose built/dignified spaces 20%
Can accommodate on-site/integrated services 30%
Future flexible/expansion opportunity 10%
General 10%
Broad community impact 24
Operational and Budgetary Impacts 17%
Alignment with Community Vision (Strategic Plan/Downtown Vision/Vision 2040) 25%
Impact to City Reputation 13%
Economic Impact 25%
Safety Impacts 17%
General 4%
Impacts to surrounding area 26
Impacts to businesses 23%
Impacts to downtown 19%
Impacts to Parks, Trails and Greenspaces 19%
Proximity to Schools 12%
Impacts to Residential Neighbourhoods 23%
General 4%
Access to services & supports 10
Access to transit and transportation 10%
Distance/proximity to supports/services 20%
Foot Traffic Patterns 20%
Enables delivery of 24/7 integrated service 20%
Enables delivery of basic amenities/services 20%
General 10%

Council approves Shelter Site Evaluation Matrix

In the above matrix, the sub-category identified as general under each criteria represents the remaining points allocated to the overarching site criteria.

“The site criteria evaluation matrix approved today will be utilized by administration and City Council to inform decisions about the future site of an integrated shelter in Red Deer,” said Lisa Perkins, Acting City Manager. “The process of developing this matrix has been all about our commitment to consider what we heard from the public, honouring the voice of the City Council in the development of the matrix and selecting a site for the future integrated shelter.”

Along with the criteria and weighting, Council adopted a resolution outlining conditions upon which City Council developed site criteria for the Shelter Site Evaluation Matrix. Ultimately, the site criteria within the matrix are the right criteria “if” the following are true:

  1. Shelter is for those who need short stay emergency housing. There are other services/facilities along the housing spectrum.
  2. Shelter is one site.
  3. Funding may limit scope.
  4. New services have potential to change outcomes.
  5. The permanent shelter will be a housing focused delivery model [(Per Council resolution Nov – 21) – GOA confirmed Jan 22]
  6. Shelter with wrap around services may not necessarily eliminate the need for those requiring shelter to access external services, to connect with community.
  7. There are innovative alternative delivery/service and systems that need to address the diversity of clients and impact on community.
  8. The shelter will operate 24/7
  9. The shelter will be designed to provide adequate spaces for short time stays that honour the dignity of each person
  10. There is a recognition and advocacy for the ongoing housing (eg. PSH & Affordable Housing) needs.
  11. Council will continue to have discussions with the Provincial Government on future Overdose Prevention Services/Supervised Consumption Services.
  12. A good neighbour policy will be developed.
  13. Community agencies are supportive of an integrated model and willing to work collaboratively towards this.
  14. The shelter would integrate or operate as many related services on site as reasonably possible.

These statements will be utilized to inform City Council’s advocacy position around the integrated shelter going forward.

“While the decision in front of City Council in the immediate future pertains specifically to site, we also know there are many conversations to be had with the Province of Alberta about other aspects of shelter including, but not limited to, shelter design, operations and service delivery,” said Mayor Ken Johnston. “We look forward to continued collaboration with our provincial colleagues as we work in partnership to ensure a safe place for our vulnerable citizens to access required services on their journey to permanent housing, which is beneficial for the whole community.”

In addition to the resolutions about the shelter evaluation matrix criteria, City Council resolved that administration will begin preparing a list of possible sites alongside a commercial realtor with Mayor Johnston and the Deputy Mayor providing Council perspective.

Administration will come back to City Council on July 18 to share an update with City Council about the site selection process.

For more information on the shelter project process, please visit www.reddeer.ca/shelter. Citizens and community partners wanting to receive updates on the shelter project by email can subscribe here.

 

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City of Red Deer

Dawe pool and gymnasium opening this weekend!

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Construction closure at the Dawe ends Sunday

Following an eight-week construction closure, the existing G.H. Dawe Community Centre will re-open on Sunday.

This construction was part of the overall G.H. Dawe Community Centre project, with the full facility expected to open in early 2023. Effective June 26 at 10 a.m., the facility will re-open. Most amenities will be available, including the pool and gymnasium. Drop-in schedules are available here.

Some exciting changes were completed during the closure. A fully accessible change room, a pool deck party room, updated steam room and sauna and a washroom for the pre-school area were added. We’re putting the finishing touches on these amenities and they will soon be available for use. We also added new acoustical paneling and an improved air handling system in the pool area. A significant amount of “behind the scenes” work was also completed to provide the required utilities and services for future arenas and fitness spaces.

As we continue to transform our spaces, construction will continue until full project completion in early 2023. We anticipate the impact will be minimal, but please note changes to these amenities:

  • The Fitness Room will not be available; some larger pieces of existing fitness equipment will be temporarily moved to the “mall area” until the grand opening of our new health and wellness spaces in 2023. Use of this equipment will require a daily admission or monthly pass.
  • Playing surfaces in the arena will not be available until construction is complete, which is expected to be early 2023.

Here are just some of the changes visitors will see when the facility is complete:

  • Two NHL standard ice surfaces
  • Expanded fitness area, with running track and two fitness studios
  • Outdoor spray park with washroom facilities
  • Additional north entrance + site access from 67 Street
  • Additional parking

For more information about the Dawe project and the closure, please visit reddeer.ca/DaweProject.

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july, 2022

thu14jul5:30 pm7:30 pmPregnancy & Loss Support Group - Zoom Session5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

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