Alberta to provide more funding to addictions, homelessness across the province

Red Deer Recovery Community, the first of six that are being constructed in Alberta

“Every Albertan who wants to escape addiction will have the opportunity to pursue recovery.”

 

 

The government of Alberta is spending $187 million in new funding towards fighting homelessness across the province and addiction issues in its two largest cities.

The announcement was made on Saturday morning, at the Herb Jamieson Centre in Edmonton with Premier Jason Kenney, Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee and Hope Mission executive Bruce Reith.

Kenney also announced the province was “massively” expanding the province’s recovery-oriented care system with a further $124 million over two years directed towards fighting the addiction crisis in Edmonton and Calgary.

The province says $65 million of the addictions funding will go towards what it terms “recovery communities” in Alberta’s two largest cities that will offer long-term treatment.

“Residents will be able to access medical detox, opioid agonist medications and therapeutic services, as well as programs that offer skills development, relationship building, and employment, financial and housing supports,” a government release reads. 

The city’s portion of the $63-million homeless funding comes from the province’s Homelessness Action Plan and follows recommendations made by the Coordinated Community Response to Homelessness Task Force that the province established in November of last year.

Some of that money will be spent expanding the number of shelter spaces for the winter months in “priority communities” including Edmonton and Wetaskiwin. 

It also introduces a pilot of a service hub model for shelters in Edmonton and Calgary that the province says will “connect clients directly with supports and services such as recovery, housing and emergency financial support.”

Hybrid health and police-operated facilities in the downtown of both centres are also planned. They’ll assess patients onsite in order to divert individuals from emergency departments and instead into urgent treatment plans and addiction treatment. The final format of these facilities has not yet been finalized by the province.

There are 6 recovery communities under construction in Alberta, with centers located in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Gunn and on the Blood Tribe First Nation, serving roughly 2400 clients a year.

 

 

 
 

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