Skip to main content

Edmonton approves funding to keep day-shelter spaces open


The city approved $4 million on Tuesday from the reserve fund to keep day-shelter spaces open through next winter.

The funding is an extension of money paid by the city during the pandemic to expand the number of spaces at Bissell and Boyle Street Community Services after homelessness doubled during the pandemic.

The Bissell Centre's community space offers a number of services to those who need them.

"Showers, laundry, they provide access to social workers, health care, and also connections to mental health care as well," said Christel Kjenner of the City of Edmonton. "And those services are really important for people who are experiencing homelessness to try and attain housing, attain employment."

"The spaces can serve more than one person throughout the day, so it could be, you know, 500 to 1,000 people served by a space in a day," said Coun. Anne Stevenson.

Stevenson admits it's not enough to meet the needs of the approximately 3,000 people who live on Edmonton streets.

"If we had not made this funding available today, it would have been worse. So, again, if we can picture it being worse than last year, that’s nothing that any of us want to see," she said.

"We want to do so much more than we’re currently offering, but we just can’t. There is no money," said Coun. Keren Teng.

Despite approving the funding, the city says maintaining shelter spaces is a provincial responsibility, adding they will be pressuring the new government to step up after the next election.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson Top Stories


opinion Why buy now, pay later plans can be a trap

Buy now, pay later plans have surged in popularity, offering the allure of instant gratification without the immediate financial pinch. But financial advice columnist Christopher Liew saw that beneath their convenient surface, these programs harbour several pitfalls that can trap unwary consumers in a web of financial complications.

Stay Connected