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Boyle Street announces new service locations ahead of downtown building closure

Boyle Street Community Services (BSCS) has found several new locations to support its programming while the new King Thunderbird Centre is completed.

BSCS announced on Sept. 13 that it would close its main building at 101 Street and 105 Avenue at the end of September because its lease with the Oilers Entertainment Group had expired.

Construction on the King Thunderbird Centre at 107A Avenue and 101 Street is not expected to be completed until fall 2024.

On Monday, BSCS announced it had secured these new locations:

  • Boyle Street triage programs and services, which include intake, reception, housing intake, youth services, immediate needs, and mail and identification, will operate out of Bissell East at 10527 96 St. NW.
  • Four Directions Financial and Hiregood will be moved to portable trailers at the new King Thunderbird site.
  • Two Community Spaces and Cultural Service/IRS programs, which provides recreational and cultural activities for 30 to 40 people moving toward stability, will move to the Mercer building at 10363 104 St.
  • A community space will be provided at Co-lab at 9641 102A Ave. for up to 20 people a day as a partnership between BSCS and Quarters Arts.
  • BSCS administrative offices will operate out of space provided by Qualico.
  • Streetworks will operate in an outreach capacity.

"Primarily, the services that operate out of this building, the one that offers supports to 150, 200 a day, or 7,000 a year, are actually just going to one location with our partners at Bissell East," BSCS spokesperson Elliott Tanti told reporters on Monday.

"It's a seamless transition for us working with a community partner that knows our community. And so that will ensure that there's not as much turmoil as tumultuous as there could have been had we divided services up more."

Tanti said the moves wouldn't have been possible without support from community partners and the city.

"We actively worked with the City of Edmonton to ensure that all of these locations were appropriately zoned, and we could operate the programs out of them in a way that conformed with their guidelines and expectations," he said.

"Frankly, it was because the city worked so hard and so diligently and realized that this was an emergency that we were able to get this set up as quickly as possible."

Tanti says the main priority for BSCS now is making its clients aware of the change of location for services ahead of the building closure on Sept. 30.

A spokesperson for the Bissell Centre says they're happy to welcome BSCS to the building while they wait for King Thunderbird to be completed.

"We've been in talks with Boyle Street Community Services for quite some time, we're always in contact with them, just making sure all of our services and programs are all aligned and coordinated and stuff. So this has been something on our radar for quite a bit," Chris Schieman said Monday.

"Now we're just putting into play a lot of the contingency plans that we've already been thinking about."

Schieman says BSCS will be occupying a portion of the Bissell Centre currently being used as the front reception area.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Sean Amato Top Stories

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