The Red Deer Mustard Seed is hoping to open a new health and wellness clinic for the homeless as early as September.

The clinic will offer addiction supports, dentistry, physicians as well as mental health therapists.

“Adding the wellness centre and the very supports that come along with it, is about meeting the needs of our community and those that are vulnerable where they’re at,” said Mustard Seed Manager of Clinical Operations and Programs Joshua Adams.

“Many of the times they don’t access regular supports and services that are available in the community for a variety of reasons. One being trust struggles, they have been abused, they’ve been traumatized, sometimes by the system in the past so when they come here, they have opportunities to develop relationships with our staff and then there’s the opportunity to have a warm handoff, do some case management, listen to their whole story and do some collaborative wrap around services for them.”

One of the focuses for the new wellness clinic will be adding a case management program.

“When a guest walks in and expresses a desire to work on some of their psychological or spiritual needs, we listen to their unique story, we don’t judge and we listen with a trauma informed perspective and we strive to offer a comprehensive and individualized set of services to them that involves a lot of collaboration, wrap around care and support services here,” said Adams.

The clinic will operate inside the Mustard Seed, and the charity is currently doing the necessary renovations which has a price tag of $18,000. This funding is coming through both community donations and sporships.

The Mustard Seed currently operates a range of programs including meal services and a homeless shelter.

“We also want to extend our services to offer more education services, some groups, some therapy groups perhaps as well as a lot of recreational, community based services and programs so that people that come here, don’t just come here for food or for shelter but they’re able to connect with other people.”

Last year, the organization served around 22,000 meals to Red Deer’s less fortunate.

“Everyone that walks in our door, I believe could benefit from more enhanced clinical, recreational, social supports of programs. We also hope that will grow and more people will be able to see our organization as not just a homeless shelter.”

In 2018, there were 144 people living on the streets according to the City of Red Deer’s point in time homeless count.