Alberta’s government has been working with local service providers to open much-needed additional shelter spaces specifically for Indigenous people and women experiencing homelessness. To better serve vulnerable Edmontonians, that work includes partnering with the city to locate these services outside of the downtown inner core.
With these additional spaces, there are currently more than 1,550 shelter spaces available in Edmonton. Alberta’s government has provided $35 million to shelter providers to support 1,700 spaces for vulnerable Edmontonians.
“While it has been a mild winter to date in Edmonton, we know that as temperatures drop, vulnerable people will be leaning more on the shelter system for a safe, warm place to stay. We will continue to work closely with Niginan Housing Ventures, Enoch Cree Nation and our other partners in the community to ensure spaces are available for those in need, including Indigenous-led spaces like these.”
“It’s encouraging to see that new shelter spaces are opening every day, many of them with Indigenous-led providers. Alberta’s government understands the importance of supporting compassionate solutions that give Indigenous people opportunities to reconnect with their culture. My heartfelt thanks to all of the leaders and organizations that are coming together to address this complex and pressing issue.”
As part of this funding, Alberta’s government is providing $3 million to Niginan Housing Ventures to operate up to 100 emergency shelter spaces in its Pimatisiwin location, which is the former Sands Hotel in the city’s northeast. In addition, Alberta’s government is providing $2.3 million to Enoch Cree Nation to operate up to 100 emergency shelter spaces at Maskokamik, located in the former Coliseum Inn. These additional spaces will increase shelter options for vulnerable Edmontonians as the city is hit with colder temperatures in the coming weeks.
Niginan Housing Ventures
Niginan has already been providing more than 30 Indigenous-led shelter spaces for Edmontonians and an additional 53 spaces are now open. These emergency shelter spaces provide vulnerable Albertans with a safe, warm place to stay.
“As an Indigenous-led agency, we are so grateful to have the opportunity to redefine what is a shelter space from an Indigenous lens. We lead with love and follow the four natural laws of kindness, honesty, sharing and strength to provide a kind, caring and supportive environment for those that need it the most. Indigenous people on the streets have been dealing with complex housing needs and have already been traumatized, so we want to ensure they are not traumatized in their housing environment. That is why Niginan Housing Ventures continues to do what we do.”
Enoch Cree Nation
The $2.3 million in new funding provides Enoch Cree Nation with their first opportunity to begin operating emergency shelter spaces in the city. The 100 new spaces will be phased in over the coming weeks to ensure the safety of clients and staff with about ten spaces opening today.
"By fostering resilience and dignity, Wîhcihaw Maskokamik will not only provide refuge to unhoused people but also represents an act of healing and the reigniting of our spirits in this example of reconciliation. Through our partnerships with government, agencies and non-profit groups, this shelter can become a transformative space that truly represents our collective commitment to restore hope and rebuild lives."
“Wîhcihaw Maskokamik means ‘Everyone gets help at the Bear Lodge’ and is a name given in ceremony to guide us in this opportunity. Enoch Cree Nation and our lived-experience staff will actively work towards helping our unhoused people reclaim their housing and culture by providing a safe space for them to reconnect with their identity. We are committed to a compassionate approach with our partners Native Counselling Services of Alberta, supported by guidance from our friends at the Lethbridge Wellness Shelter. Together, we are going to change the meaning of 'shelter.' ”
Alberta is dedicated to working with emergency shelter providers and community agencies offering homelessness initiatives to connect people with appropriate housing, address challenges and prioritize services for people with the most critical needs.
- More than $75 million in funding has been provided to support homelessness initiatives in Edmonton.
- $41 million is provided to Homeward Trust Edmonton to support 55 housing, prevention, outreach and support programs with 15 agencies.
- Funding from Alberta’s Action Plan on Homelessness provides 24-7 access to Edmonton emergency shelters.
- Provincially funded shelter operators in Edmonton include:
- E4C (Women’s Emergency Accommodation Centre)
- Enoch Cree Nation
- Elizabeth Fry Society
- Hope Mission
- The Mustard Seed
- Niginan Housing Ventures
- Operation Friendship Seniors Society
- The Salvation Army
- Urban Manor