Over the weekend, the province announced new funding through an action plan that will target homelessness in Alberta that includes one million dollars and 70 additional winter shelter spaces. Premier Jason Kenney says through the government’s Homelessness Task Force, they believed more enhancements were needed to address the issue.
“The money will used to expand the number of shelter spaces especially for the winter months in priority communities like Edmonton, Wetaskiwin, Lethbridge and rural communities where there is urgent and unmet need. We will be moving all provincially funded shelter to 24/7 access to make support available day or night,” said Premier Jason Kenney during a press conference Saturday.
Meantime, Director of Community Services for the City of Lethbridge Mike Fox says this is welcome news from the province.
“I was very excited to hear that hearing that the provinces, they are a key partner in this area, so I was very excited. Winter is always the most challenging for any area that faces the climate swings like we do in Canada. If we can find an additional 70 beds we will be in a much better situation come this winter. Making sure that we have a location and that it’s set up proper could be a challenge and it’s only a couple months away is when winter is coming,” said Mike Fox, Director of Community Services for the City of Lethbridge.
Over the next two years, $63 million will be provided to areas across the province to implement the government’s homeless action plan.