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Commonwealth Stadium Temporary Accommodation

A message from the City of Edmonton and the Neighbourhood Empowerment Team (NET)

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of Edmontonians that fall into homelessness each month. It has also created a gap in the services and spaces available for people who are marginalized to access both during the day and overnight. The City of Edmonton is concerned about the safety and wellbeing of those sleeping rough and the impacts encampments have on nearby businesses and residents.

The City of Edmonton recently announced its support for Hope Mission to operate a temporary accommodation for vulnerable populations at Commonwealth Stadium. This location is now open and replaces the space previously available at Central Lions Seniors Centre. Currently, the stadium shelter is accessible only to people by bus from the Hope Mission and the operator is exploring options to begin operating as a 24/7 shelter in November. It will offer day and night sleeping options, meal service and access to social services until March 2021. The additional space and programming immediately addresses the gaps in services and supports caused by COVID-19. Bringing people out of the cold into temporary housing is our immediate goal. We want to keep people safe while we continue to expand bridge housing and longer-term supportive and affordable housing options for those who are sleeping rough.

While the City works with community agencies to address the needs, and support the safety of vulnerable people, we also seek to support the security and prosperity of our community partners, business owners, schools and area residents. We can work together to respond in a way that is safer than unsanctioned encampments.

The City of Edmonton thanks you for your support and compassion. We also understand and acknowledge that you may have concerns about security and cleanliness in your areas and we are doing what we can to alleviate these issues. We encourage you to report any concerns to 311 and we continue to encourage citizens to call 211 for the 24/7 Crisis Diversion Team when they encounter someone in a crisis situation. Any incidents of crime should be reported to the Edmonton Police Service either through 911 in an emergency or the non-emergency line at 780-423-4567.

In addition, visit edmonton.ca/homelessness for information and updates on the City’s ongoing response to encampments. You will also find useful guides and resources on creating safer communities on our website.

Information provided by the City of Edmonton.

We know that the introduction of the temporary pandemic accommodations at the Commonwealth Stadium may be of concern. The City is working closely with community partners to identify and employ strategies that support safety and security within the neighbourhoods surrounding the Commonwealth Stadium.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you and your community organization. My name is Stephen Quinn and I am a member of the Neighbourhood Empowerment Team which is a partnership between the City of Edmonton, the Edmonton Police Service, The Family Centre and the United Way of Alberta Capital Region. We work with community residents, businesses and organizations to identify situations that affect community safety and build community-driven solutions to create safer neighbourhoods and communities.

As you may be aware, there is temporary pandemic accommodation at the Commonwealth Stadium which will provide people experiencing homelessness with a warm, safe place to go this winter. The City is working with Hope Mission to move to a 24/7 shelter, where people will have access to meal services, day and night sleeping accommodations, as well as social services and housing information. People will be accessing the shelter through a bus service from the Hope Mission facility. The space accommodates more than 100 people and is expected to operate until March 2021. It has opened initially as an overnight shelter to replace space previously provided at the Central Lions Senior Centre.

We know that the introduction of the temporary pandemic accommodations at the Commonwealth Stadium may be of concern. The City is working closely with community partners to identify and employ strategies that support safety and security within the neighbourhoods surrounding the Commonwealth Stadium. Peace officers will increase patrols in the area, on-site security will be inside the Commonwealth Stadium, and Edmonton Police Service will respond to calls for service.

The safety, security and wellbeing of all businesses and residents is important. Please do not hesitate to connect with us at any time if you are experiencing safety concerns (that do not require immediate police attention) and/or would like to learn strategies around personal or property safety. We can be reached at net@edmonton.ca

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