Old Remand Centre Gym Used as Overflow Shelter
The gymnasium of the old Edmonton Remand Centre is being used as an overflow shelter for Hope Mission this winter, and possibly beyond.
Hope Mission began using the gym in late November to address the high number of people using the Mission’s shelters. More than 600 people per night were sleeping at Hope Mission during that month. Some nights saw as many as 645 people, among the highest numbers in the agency’s 85 years.
The partnership to use the old Remand Centre is with Alberta Infrastructure. Only men have been sleeping at the old Remand Centre at around 60 per night.
Robin Padanyi, Media Relations spokesperson with Hope Mission, says he doesn’t know how long the old Remand Centre will continue to be used as an overflow shelter, but hopes it can continue to be used as long as the need is high. “It has allowed us to make sure our other shelters weren’t bursting at the seams,” he says.
Padanyi emphasizes that the space is fully staffed to make sure it is safe and there have been no issues at the location. “From what I have gathered from the guests, they are really grateful for the space. Because of the size of the gymnasium, they have a little more room. The space is a little more conducive for having a good night’s sleep. They really appreciate having a safe, quiet place to spend the night.”
Last year, Hope Mission partnered with the Salvation Army for an overflow facility.
The former Edmonton Remand Centre is located at 103A Avenue and 97 Street. It was closed down in April of 2013. Prisoners were transferred to a new, $580 million facility at 184 Avenue and 127 Street.