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Council requests additional options for sober shelter location

​City Council received a report outlining community feedback around the potential development of an interim sober shelter at the former Civic Curling Centre. Following the presentation, Council voted unanimously to rescind previous direction to apply for a development permit for this site and instead continue to explore this and other possible sites.

Administration has been directed to return to Cultural and Social Standing Policy Committee with alternative sites to consider. City Council also authorized the Mayor to write a letter to the Provincial Government requesting support on funding opportunities and the site selections for sober shelters in Lethbridge.

From September 21 – October 6, the City hosted two open houses and held an online survey to collect ideas and feedback from residents around a sober shelter at the former Civic Curling Centre. The engagement focused on the things the City should consider in the development of the site and potential lease terms. This feedback was sought to determine how to best balance the needs of the vulnerable population and the expectations of the broader community.

"I want to thank everyone who took the time to attend these events or give feedback online," says Mayor Blaine Hyggen. "This was valuable information for Council's consideration as we move forward. I was able to personally hear from a wide-range of community members on all sides of this topic."

Throughout the engagement, more than 220 people attended in-person events and 461 completed online surveys. The report provides a cross section of feedback from community members ranging from those very opposed to those in-favor and wanting even more action taken. Across the spectrum of opinions, the majority of community members agreed that this is a needed resource. Opposition was generally focused on the proposed site location and the current issues the nearby neighborhoods are facing.

The work to develop an interim sober shelter location looks at mid-range options to address housing challenges in Lethbridge while also working towards long-term solutions.

Council's decision to move to the discussion on location to a standing policy committee will allow for additional community feedback and conversation.

Full details of the What We Heard Report for the Civic Curling Centre location are available for public to view at