In January 2023, the Blood Tribe Department of Health began operating the Lethbridge emergency shelter. This partnership has put a greater focus on culturally appropriate supports for those who are Indigenous and experiencing homelessness in southern Alberta. Through a new MOU, the government and the Blood Tribe Department of Health commit to continuing their partnership to advance reconciliation through Indigenous-led shelter operation.

To further invest in this partnership, Alberta’s government is providing a $4 million capital grant to support the expansion of the emergency shelter through the Lethbridge Housing Authority. The Lethbridge shelter currently receives more than $3.5 million annually from the province to run about 120 shelter spaces and offer services to the homeless. The City of Lethbridge is also providing a $1.4-million in-kind contribution to the project.

“Homelessness is an increasingly complex issue in Lethbridge. We are confident in the work being done by the Blood Tribe Department of Health and look forward to continuing to address homelessness together with them. We’re also very pleased to see capital grant funding going towards expanding the services already offered in the city of Lethbridge.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services

“This agreement symbolizes the collaborative effort required to uplift one another. By signing this memorandum of understanding, we affirm our dedication to ensuring that the Lethbridge Wellness Centre and Stabilization Unit remains a beacon of hope for those experiencing homelessness and substance use disorder. As Niitsitapi, we have always protected our people. We will continue to help our community members call their spirit back.”

Ponokasiksinam, Martin Heavy Head, councillor and board chair, Blood Tribe Department of Health

The shelter expansion project, which is expected to take shape on the same lot as the existing shelter, will increase capacity to more than 200 shelter spaces and at least 30 stabilization spaces. The investment will also expand supports available to those experiencing homelessness, including social benefits, health care, addiction treatment and housing connections.

“Since the Blood Tribe Department of Health began operating the Lethbridge shelter, there have been more culturally appropriate supports available to those experiencing homelessness in southern Alberta. This ongoing partnership and investment will continue moving people towards a better future with the care they need.”

Nathan Neudorf, MLA for Lethbridge East

“The City of Lethbridge is pleased to support the Government of Alberta, Lethbridge Housing Authority and the Blood Tribe Department of Health with the expansion of the Lethbridge shelter through an in-kind contribution of the property. The increased capacity will ensure those in need in our community are better cared for. Thank you to Minister Nixon and his office for their tireless efforts in collaborating on this transition and expansion.”

Blaine Hyggen, mayor, City of Lethbridge

“Lethbridge Housing Authority is grateful for the Government of Alberta’s investment in safe shelter space for our city’s most vulnerable residents. We look forward to partnering with the Blood Tribe Department of Health to ensure an individual’s experience in homelessness is brief and non-reoccurring by providing pathways to recovery-focused long-term housing solutions.”

Robin James, chief administrative officer, Lethbridge Housing Authority

Quick facts

  • To address winter capacity issues, in December 2023 the province announced $1 million in funding through the Action Plan on Homelessness to operate up to 50 temporary winter spaces in Lethbridge.