EDMONTON -- After searching for new temporary shelter locations, City of Red Deer administration is recommending the Cannery Row emergency shelter site be extended to serve those experiencing homelessness in the city.

City officials said in a press release that no alternate locations for the temporary shelter were found and that administration will recommend to city council on Monday that the Cannery Row site be extended beyond its permit to operate until Sept. 30.

“The search and call for business opportunities has resulted in only one viable option for the temporary emergency shelter, and that location is a lease opportunity at the current Cannery Row site located in Railyards, said Sarah Tittemore, community services general manager, in a statement.

“Administration has not been able to find another viable lease option for the temporary emergency shelter,” Tittemore said. “If council doesn’t want to pursue the lease option, we’ll need further direction on alternative options.”

According to Tittemore, the city has created a crime prevention through environmental design analysis to “improve the site” and see what other options the city can pursue to “reduce crime” in the area surrounding Cannery Row.

The shelter is operated by the Safe Harbour society, which is funded by the province, and has been operating at the Cannery Row building since March 2020.

City council created the temporary shelter to ensure physical distancing between patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The use of the temporary site had already been extended by Red Deer city council this year in March.

In May, Red Deer city council approved more than $41,000 for a plan to cover enhanced business and resident engagement, security, cleaning, and a safe walk program for the Railyard neighbourhood where the shelter is located.

Additionally, the city approved $8,500 to cover business licence fees in 2022 for businesses in that area.