City council approves encampment strategy

Lethbridge City Council has approved a new strategy to help deal with the encampment issue in our city. The city will be working with the police and city administration on several goals including connecting some of our most vulnerable with housing and social supports. Mayor Blaine Hyggen says it’s a complex issue and having more people at the table to will help.  

“And everybody’s, I guess if you say singing from the same song book and we’ve sat down together and everybody is on that same page now, where we don’t have one group starting a strategy and another group coming and say, well, I can’t really do this because of this reason or that reason. Everybody at the table. And to come to a collaborative approach, I think is important.”

The city says the strategy also outlines a multi-step approach using a triage technique at encampments. 

“I think the biggest thing is that we have resource is in place to deal with this in an adequate fashion. The triaging will help us in getting those resources out in the most appropriate fashion. Understanding that we don’t need a full fledged approach with every encampment what we want to lead with is the outreach. We want to engage with those individuals, try to get them the supports they need. And only when it’s an escalated situation do we need to bring in supports like Lethbridge Police Service.”

Last month Lethbridge City Council approved funding up to $500,000 per year for the next three years and a one-time fund of $250,000 to support this new strategy. 



Angela Stewart

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