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Community Social Development (CSD)

The City of Lethbridge’s Community Social Development (CSD) department works collaboratively with a dedicated network of social service providers, the community and all levels of government to address social problems in our city. We envision a city in which all individuals, families and communities have opportunities for healthy development leading to social wellbeing.

Unlike many municipalities, we do not deliver our own social programs or manage affordable housing. Instead, we act as a backbone to coordinate programs for the social service community. Learn more about Community Social Development (CSD)’s role in coordinating and facilitating social services in our community.

Social service programs and services

We partner with local social service agencies that provide a variety of funded programs and services to our community. Find information on the programs and services they provide.

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta South Region (CMHA, ASR) is the lead agency for the implementation and continuous improvement of the Lethbridge Integrated Coordinated Access (ICA) system. CMHA, ASR works with the City, its funded service providers and other community partners to tie together thousands of independent programs, organizations, and services into a coordinated system.  

CMHA, ASR offers a variety of supportive services and programs, including:

The Family Ties Association provides family-focused services in southern Alberta.

The Southern Alberta Self-help Association (SASHA) provides supportive living options and individualized services for adults with severe and/or persistent mental illness.

The Streets Alive Family Support Association manages a variety of donations and outreach in our community.

They offer trusteeship services that focus on assisting individuals with financial management and planning support to help them prevent or exit homelessness.

Repurpose Centre

The Streets Alive Repurpose Donation Centre supports the Lethbridge Integrated Coordinated Access (ICA) system of providers, such as the Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Consortium and the CMHA HomeBASE Adaptive Case Management (ACM) team to support individuals in finding and maintaining housing stability through the distribution of free household goods and furniture to those in need. Streets Alive also provides access to bed bug covers and treatment.

The Blood Tribe’s Blackfoot Resource Hub (BRH) supports housing service providers, the Blackfoot community and other Indigenous peoples to ensure that culturally appropriate programming is available and accessible throughout the City of Lethbridge. The BRH provides cultural competency training for service providers and serves as a centralized access point for Blackfoot resources. Through the Blackfoot Resource Hub, individuals in the community and service providers can connect to traditional Blackfoot knowledge, protocols and Elders. This can help them integrate Indigenous ways of knowing into service delivery and daily practices.

The Opokaa'sin Early Intervention Society works alongside other service providers as Population Support Navigators for Indigenous caregivers, children and youth in our community. The Population Support Navigators through Opokaa'sin develop and provide Indigenous cultural competency training to other community organizations. They are also responsible for informing service providers of community trends, best practices relevant to the population and working closely with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Adaptive Case Management (ACM) team to support case management for Indigenous families.

The Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization (LSCO) offers a variety of programs and services that support seniors and caregivers of seniors in the community. Programming is focused on supporting engagement in the community, socialization and participation in LSCO organized activities, classes and events.

They also offer an In-Home Supports program, which include Meals on Wheels, subsidized lawn and snow removal and subsidized homemaking services.

The LSCO works closely with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Adaptive Case Management (ACM) team to support case management, service delivery and senior-specific system navigation and referrals.

The Nord-Bridge Senior Citizens Association provides educational, social and support services that aim to foster a vibrant seniors' community that is healthy, physically fit, and socially active, including:

  • Tax and benefits assistance
  • Transportation services
  • Volunteering opportunities for seniors in the community

Wood's Homes provides treatment and support to children, youth and families with mental health needs. They also develop and provide youth competency training for community organizations in an effort to ensure that youth-specific needs are being appropriately met in the community.

Through research and education, Building Brains Together (BBT) builds adult capabilities to improve brain development and executive functions in children. The program operates under three primary goals:

  • To enhance executive function (EF) in children
  • To provide workshops and other professional development opportunities around brain development to community organizations that serve families and children
  • To share information with caregivers and educators

The Lethbridge School Division’s Family Support Program takes a preventive and early intervention approach to enable children, youth, and families to gain the skills and knowledge to address challenges and increase their capacity to care for themselves and others. It provides in-school programs and services to support children and division staff and also builds rapport with identified families in need of assistance to help them access resources and services in the community.

The Holy Spirit Catholic School Division operates the Family First Facilitator (FFF) program in district schools. This program takes a preventive and early intervention approach to enable children, youth and families to acquire the skills and knowledge to address challenges and increase their capacity to care for themselves and others. The FFF program also works with families outside of the classroom through home visits to provide parent education, system navigation support and connection to the Lethbridge Integrated Coordinated Access (ICA) system for families with greater needs.

The Family Centre Society of Southern Alberta is a non-profit organization providing a range of services to children, youth and families in southwestern Alberta. Family Centre empowers children and families through programs, resources and connections.

Programs and services include:

  • Information and referrals
  • Early childhood play programming and developmental screening
  • Parent education and one on one support
  • Family support services including subsidized counselling, groups, All My Relations Indigenous parenting and youth programming, and the Interfaith Chinook Country Kitchen programs

Programs and services are offered at three locations: Downtown at Melcor Centre, located at 200 4 Ave. S., the north branch at Interfaith Food Bank, located at 1103 3 Ave. N. and the west branch at the Coalbanks Elementary School, located at 230 Coalbanks Blvd. W.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lethbridge and District (BBBS) provides a variety of mentoring programs reflecting the diverse needs of children, youth, and volunteers in the community. Children may seek a positive role model in their life due to low self-esteem, loneliness, inability to make a friend or simply needing an extra person in their support network.

The Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge (BGCL) Youth Centre provides programming for youth that is free of charge and designed to build the potential of each youth. BGCL Youth Centre reduces barriers to services by offering a shuttle to west and south Lethbridge to transport youth to programs. BGCL offers flexible drop-in programs, urban skills programming, structured after-school programming and summer programs. Programs are based on youth needs and interests and are provided in an environment that is positive and healthy. 

Volunteer Lethbridge is a professional organization that connects volunteers, non-profit organizations, community members and supporters (businesses, funders, and government) to opportunities that positively impact community well-being. Volunteer Lethbridge offers members of the community a way to match their skills, abilities, and resources where they are needed most.

Fee assistance program

We offer fee assistance so that everyone in our community has equal access to our recreation programs and arts and cultural programs.

Grants and supports

View the grant and support programs available to provide financial support for residents and local businesses.

Integrated Coordinated Access (ICA)

The Lethbridge Integrated Coordinated Access (ICA) is a network that helps connect people to the services they need as quickly as possible to meet their needs and support their overall wellbeing. This is done through collaborative referrals, assessments and network navigation support.


While every individual's situation and circumstances are unique, there are many factors that have led to an increase in homeless encampments across the city, including:

  • A lack of affordable and stable housing
  • Drug addictions and the ongoing opioid crisis
  • Lack of connection to services and resources
  • Mental health conditions
  • Personal health and safety concerns

Encampment Strategy 

Working in partnership with Lethbridge Police Service, City administration has several goals including:

  • Supporting the most vulnerable by connecting them to housing and social supports
  • Ensuring parks and open spaces are safe and enjoyable for everyone
  • Preventing entrenchment to minimize health and safety concerns
  • Informing residents of how to report encampments
  • Keeping the community informed on encampment responses

The encampment response process is managed by the City of Lethbridge cross corporately in partnership with the Lethbridge Police Service. Further, it is coordinated with key community partners including but not limited to Lethbridge Housing Authority, Blood Tribe Department of Health, and the Downtown Business Revitalization Zone/Clean Sweep Program.

The Encampment Response Process Flow Chart represents the process flow from reporting, to triage, response, monitoring, reporting, and continuous improvement. The process will remain the same despite the number of resources. What will be impacted or vary is the Level of Service (LOS) of the response.

There are several ways you can support our encampment response and help connect individuals to the services they need.

Get help

The following contacts provide outreach services:

  • Call 2-1-1 for 24/7 Crisis Diversion – non-emergency support for referrals to community resources including shelter and mental health
  • Call 825-399-SAFE for the Safe Community Call Centre (SCCC) – report biohazards, needle debris, public intoxication, encampments and street behaviours
  • Call 403-332-0722 for the Needle Pickup Hotline
  • Call 403-892-3707 for the Diversion Outreach Team – provides transportation and access to community supports for vulnerable individuals

Community Social Development (CSD) reports and studies

View our community social development reports and studies that we developed to establish safe, inclusive community spaces where residents can access the social services and resources they need.

Community Wellbeing and Safety Strategy (CWSS)

Learn how the Community Wellbeing and Safety Strategy uses research, data analysis, best practices and community engagement to improve community wellbeing and safety in Lethbridge.

Social service funding sources

We oversee and provide support for national, provincial and municipal funding agreements for social services agencies and community-based grants. The funding sources we manage include:

  • Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) – FCSS is an 80/20 funding partnership between the Government of Alberta and the City of Lethbridge to ensure that preventive and early intervention social services can be accessed by citizens in need
  • Reaching Home (RH) – RH is the Government of Canada's Homelessness Strategy’s community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness
  • City funding – each year the City allocates funding through Community Based Grants and service fees to support initiatives through local social service agencies

View a breakdown of our social funding to learn more about how local programs are funded.

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