Public feedback, process and potential next steps related to a future permanent shelter will be considered by City Council during their special meeting on Monday, March 7.
Over the last number of weeks, The City hosted seven targeted meetings that proved to be very valuable in developing an understanding as to what downtown property owners, businesses, associations, and service providers think about how the process has gone so far, and how they want to continue to be involved in conversations moving forward. On Monday, administration and third-party engagement specialist, Maven Strategy, will present a What We Heard report detailing an overview of these focused community conversations. This has resulted in needing to hear more from the community and their help in finding solutions.
“We learned that our community wants to help, and we want to take them up on this offer and collaborate to develop solutions. We heard that we need to take the time to share information, bring our community to the table, and build on the common theme that we need shelter services in our community that meet the needs of Red Deerians,” said Interim City Manager Tara Lodewyk. “Unfortunately, sometimes our legislated public hearing processes and standard requirements don’t enable us to have the in-depth conversations about complex topics like the permanent shelter, but we know this is a potentially divisive topic and we want to make sure that when we proceed as a community, in partnership with the Province of Alberta, we are doing what is best for Red Deer and all of our citizens.”
Council will consider the recommendation that administration develops a broader community strategy to share information and craft solutions with the community in the areas The City has influence on such as a potential location and overarching design guidelines. If approved, administration anticipates starting this process by mid-April with it rooted in community inclusion and transparency.
The permanent shelter is a provincially funded project that aims to provide services needed by the community’s vulnerable population to support their journey into successful permanent housing.
- In November 2020, the Province committed $7 million towards the purpose-built integrated permanent shelter in Red Deer.
- In February 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the province and The City was finalized.
- In January 2022, a potential location for consultation was released for the permanent shelter.
- In February 2022, The City conducted several targeted community conversations to develop a better understanding of the community’s thoughts on the shelter, its location, and the process thus far, in advance of zoning requirements for the proposed location.
The Special Council Meeting on Monday will start at 12:30 p.m. with an In Camera item for approximately one hour, then open Council meeting to review the What We Heard report and next steps. To review the What We Heard report visit the permanent shelter page found at www.reddeer.ca/shelter.
For more information, contact:
The City of Red Deer