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Public input opportunities for permanent shelter site criteria start tomorrow

May 24, 2022 1:34 PM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

The City heard through recent conversations that a shelter is needed and our community wants to help in finding a solution. The community will have the opportunity online and in person to share their input on the permanent shelter site criteria stating tomorrow until June 10.

As a means of starting the conversation with our community, information will be shared about the original site criteria used and the feedback gained through this process will be used to move forward in determining a site.

“Participants in the public input opportunities will influence how, where and in what way a site is selected,” said Tara Shand, Corporate Communications Manager. “We want to truly understand the values and beliefs accompanying the information they are sharing to develop meaningful site criteria.”

From May 25 to June 10, the online option to share public input on the permanent shelter site criteria will be available. Participants in the online method will be virtually walked through the original seven criteria used in the original site selection process. They will be asked why they agree or don’t agree with it, and share any criteria that should be added for selecting the appropriate site for a permanent shelter.

The City will also be hosting six in-person opportunities for the community to share their input. These sessions will be split between two days – June 8 and 9. Three of the sessions will be with targeted community stakeholders through invitation (June 8), the remaining three will be open to public registration (June 9). Each session will welcome up to 25 participants to successfully engage in meaningful conversation. The in-person format will mirror that of the online option.

“We know through previous conversations held that our community believes a shelter is needed and supported, and our community wants to be involved in the process,” said Tara Lodewyk, Interim City Manager. “We know we will hear ideas for site locations and we will want to gain a deeper understanding of why participants feel a particular site is a good site. This information will be shared with Council on June 20, then used to narrow down site options for Council to consider.”

The current seven criteria include:

  1. Ease of acquiring site: if the proposed site is not owned by The City, the landowner must be willing to sell the property for the proposed use.
  2. Accessibility to service: proximity to existing support services or the current level of services provided in the area.
  3. Size: preferred site either has a building or can accommodate a building that is at least 10,000 square feet.
  4. Surrounding land use: compatibility with uses in the area and the level of expectation zoning provided of the shelter use potentially being in the area.
  5. Unique factors: development constraints that might not make the site suitable for a temporary care facility such as landfills, escarpments, proximity to floodways, contamination, and other environmental constraints.
  6. Operations, logistical efficiencies & additional costs: ability to leverage existing assets and/or co-locate important services in an integrated manner.
  7. Integrated amenities: conducive to having shelter services as well as other support services integrated into site. Services that support an individual’s immediate needs can include items like food, laundry, a safe place to sleep, and medical services. Other services that may be considered in the permanent shelter include services like addiction and mental health support, help in obtaining identification, support in obtaining income, among other services.

“There is a lot of passion and emotion behind this project, and I know as a community we all want a solution that is built for Red Deer,” said Mayor Ken Johnston. “We ask that when you come to the table, virtually or in-person, you are open to ideas and information, and put forward feedback that will help us to find an appropriate site based on criteria. In the end, the integrated shelter is about supporting members of our community to get the support they need as they work towards getting permanent housing.”

Starting tomorrow, Red Deerians are encouraged to visit to participate in the online input opportunities, or to register for an in-person session. 

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