The government of Alberta announced on Aug. 5 that homeless shelters and community organizations across the province will receive an additional $48 million in emergency funding.
“This critical financial support will help ensure the important work of our partners can continue. This means isolation and care centres will continue to operate through the winter making sure individuals with no fixed address can self-isolate if they are sick of waiting for test results, and can receive medical care if they need it,” said the Minister of Community Social Services, Rajan Sawhney.
With the additional funding, homeless shelters will also be able to continue to operate while ensuring physical distancing requirements are met.
“We are confident that with this funding shelters will be able to continue providing the compassionate care that all Albertans deserve,” Sawhney said.
In addition to the newly announced $48 million being allocated, homeless shelters and community organizations in the province also received $25 million in emergency funding.
The support assisted shelter operations to open isolation and care spaces, comply with public health orders for physical distancing, obtain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), adjust service delivery, and ensure COVID-19 cleaning protocols were met.
“This funding was critical in opening isolation care centres and making sure the people who got sick and needed to safely self-isolate were able to do so,” Sawhney said.
Adding, “It has been a challenging time for our province, but I’m glad to see so many Albertans coming together to support one another and help deal with the new circumstances that we are in.”
The CEO of the Mustard Seed, Stephen Wile expressed his appreciation for the funding received from the government of Alberta, to assist homeless Albertans and those experiencing extreme poverty.
“The Mustard Seed has been a safe haven and a place of help and hope for those experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty,” Wile said.
“Earlier this year, we were faced with an unprecedented challenge brought forth by the pandemic. Although in the beginning, we started off with great uncertainty, our communities rallied together like never before to ensure that those experiencing homelessness would be taken care of,” he said.
Adding, “I’m so appreciative of the government working diligently to ensure this critical support continues for those in need.”
Wile is determined to work with the government of Alberta and other community organizations to ensure Albertans experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty are protected, have access to safe emergency shelter and isolation spaces.
“I’m very thankful to our partners who worked tirelessly to provide these vital resources to Albertans in need,” Sawhney said.
“As we continue our plan to reopen and restart our province, we are committed to protecting vulnerable Albertans,” she said.
Adding, “We must continue to take measures to protect ourselves and those around us. Our vulnerable populations are particularly high at risk, and we must do everything we can to continue to ensure that they are protected.”