City of Edmonton launches plan for temporary pandemic accommodation
The City of Edmonton is moving forward with a plan to provide temporary pandemic accommodation for homeless Edmontonians.
The City is concerned for the safety and well-being of those sleeping rough including those living in temporary encampments. There are approximately 2,000 people experiencing homelessness in Edmonton, with more than 600 sleeping outside or unsheltered on any given night — including those at major encampments.
“The City of Edmonton is leading the plan to provide immediate accommodation options made possible through temporary funding from senior levels of government, and will be working with community partners and agencies to operate and provide service,” said Interim City Manager Adam Laughlin. “Bringing people out of the cold into temporary housing is our immediate goal as we continue working on bridge housing and other long-term options to keep people safe.”
The City will be using a City-owned facility, to provide temporary, 24-7 accommodation with day programming and meal service until March 2021. The City’s goal is to open this temporary accommodation by the end of October.
The City is also identifying short-term bridge accommodation options while the City works with community partners to prepare submissions for federal funds for supportive housing and the conversion of existing buildings to affordable housing.
The City will be working closely with social service agencies and business associations to ensure the transition to temporary pandemic accommodation is respectful and the needs of all stakeholders are taken into consideration.
“The long term solution to homelessness is housing. The community needs supportive housing with support services and treatment available for those who are suffering from addictions, mental health issues and historical trauma,” said Mayor Don Iveson.
The City and its partners have a plan to quickly create supportive, suitable accommodation options for people experiencing homelessness and will continue advocating for ongoing funding from other orders of government to help the more vulnerable population in our community.