Daytime and overnight support services during extreme cold

Red Deer City council continues to advocate to meet needs of the vulnerable

Colder than normal temperatures are expected to continue this week, which puts everyone at risk, but for people experiencing homelessness, the risk is even greater as there are limited options available where people can warm up and get out of the cold when temperatures drop.

Unfortunately, Red Deer does not have a 24/7 shelter with on-site support services that meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness in our city; however, the following services are available, and citizens experiencing homelessness are encouraged to stay safe and warm by accessing these services when needed.

Daytime Warming Centre:

 Winter Warming Centre (5246 53 Avenue)

o Located on the Safe Harbour site

o Open 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. from November 1 until March 31

o Its purpose is to provide people experiencing homelessness a place to be safe and warm

during the winter months. Overnight support services:

 People’s Place Overnight Shelter (6002 54 Avenue)

o Located at The Mustard Seed

o Open 7 p.m. until 7 a.m., 365 days per year

o It is an overnight emergency shelter for 46 sober people

 Mats Program Overnight Shelter located at Safe Harbour (5246 53 Avenue) o Located at Safe Harbour

o Open 8 p.m. until 8 a.m., 365 days per year

o It is an overnight emergency shelter for 26 people who are under the influence of

substances.

o Twenty additional temporary overflow spaces are available if more than 26 are needed,

from November 1 to March 31.

o The Mats program provides a supervised environment for its guests who are extremely

vulnerable on the streets and in the elements.

These support services are in place for persons experiencing homelessness to receive basic support – escaping the elements to stay warm, dry and safe, and for connecting to trained staff to help clients navigate the system of housing and supports and find more permanent housing.

Citizens are reminded to take extra precautions when temperatures drop. Watch for cold related symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, numbness and colour change in fingers and toes.

Red Deer City Council continues to advocate with local agencies to the Province of Alberta for long-term solutions that will meet the needs of Red Deer’s vulnerable population. This includes a 24/7 shelter with on-site support services including daytime support services, harm reduction strategies, permanent supportive housing, residential treatment and affordable housing options. At this time, the Province of Alberta has not committed any support or funding to the purpose built shelter project.

-Submitted by the City of Red Deer

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