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“Proper Execution” of an Integrated Shelter for Red Deer – MLA Jason Stephan


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Submitted by Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan

With Proper Execution an Integrated Shelter is a Great Opportunity for Red Deer

Alberta’s Provincial Government has committed $7 million in taxpayer dollars for an integrated shelter service.

This is important. Many families and businesses in our community are very concerned with growing property and persons crimes, needle debris, and shelter camps and garbage in public spaces caused, in many cases, by adult users of shelter services.

Properly implemented, an integrated shelter service is a great opportunity, to make an imperative course correction, better serving our homeless adult population, while repairing a torn social fabric and distrust in our community; improperly implemented, this shelter will entrench an unacceptable status quo and exacerbate growing frustration in our community.

In consultation with Minister LaGrange and I, our elected City Council has been requested to provide specific recommendations on the potential location(s) and service provider(s) for an integrated shelter service.

It is much better for elected leaders in our community to have input in decisions with significant impacts to our community then unelected bureaucrats outside of our community. Minister LaGrange and I are excited to work with our elected municipal leaders and friends!

Listening to the insights and perspectives from businesses and families in our community, the following necessary outcomes were shared with City Council:

    1. Provide shelter services in a positive, efficient, and effective manner

      1. Focus is positive, integrated support for adults desiring to become more self-reliant, and as applicable, free of addictions.

      1. Hard earned taxpayer dollars are respected for modest and practical structures, with a focus on services to homeless adults over edifices or organizations

      1. Leverage off respective competencies and strengths of different community organizations …

      1. Consolidate overlapping services to stretch scarce taxpayer dollars.

    1. Required Tangible Outcomes for Families and Businesses in our Community

      1. Relocate … shelter out of a residential neighborhood

      1. Locate dry shelter and wet shelter proximate to each other to reduce issues for wider City families and businesses.

      1. Relocate … meal services out of a residential neighborhood.

      2. Consolidate meal services for our homeless in one location, close to shelters serving all adult shelter users, engaging civil society to save taxpayer dollars, and reduce issues for wider City families and businesses.

      1. Provide effective day-time programming options and integrated supports towards self-reliance for adult shelter users choosing to participate, engaging civil society volunteers and service organizations, and local businesses.

      1. Provide daytime sheltering, especially for incapacitated adults, including lockers and bathrooms, reducing issues for wider City families and businesses.

      1. Provide accountable protections to our community from the risk of shelter service providers acting without regard to the collateral consequences of their actions to businesses and families in the community.

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