‘We can end homelessness’: Edmonton mayor asks province for funding commitment

EDMONTON — Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson wants the province to join the city’s plan to address homelessness.

Iveson sent a letter to Premier Jason Kenney on Wednesday asking him to add provincial support to Edmonton City Council’s plan.

The letter requests $17.4 million in annual funding from the province to fund wrap-around support services for residents of the new supportive housing units, funded in part by the federal government.

“This strategic investment by all orders of government to get individuals with very complex needs off the street will reduce costs to the health, justice and law enforcement systems,” the letter reads. “I cannot overstate the urgent need to address these matters in the coming weeks.”   

On Oct. 1, Iveson said he would do “whatever it takes” to house the city’s most vulnerable and deliver on his promise to end homelessness by the end of October.

There are approximately 2,000 people experiencing homelessness in Edmonton — a number that has increased by about 200 since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The city says approximately 600 of them sleep outside every night.

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