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 firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the permanent shelter process can be found at www.reddeer.ca/shelter.