The Town of Bonnyville has approved a funding request for the local men’s shelter.
On August 24, Council passed a motion to provide the Bonnyville Friendship Centre with $15,000, which will come from the general operating reserves, to go towards their men’s shelter.
The shelter has been opened since September 2020, which was made possible by a grant from the Government of Alberta. As that funding will be exhausted by next month, the Bonnyville Friendship Centre requested $50,000 from the Town to help with operating expenses for the next three months.
“About a year ago, the shelter opened up, and they were relying on grants and the problem with a lot of these things with these types of facilities is that where they were funded by the government we see cutbacks and grants that have dried up, and things like that,” Mayor Gene Sobolewski told Lakeland Connect. “Council has received a request for $50,000 to have an additional three months worth of operating on this facility. So, the deliberations of Council, they wanted some more information, they wanted to see some financial information and in terms of costs and things like that.”
Mayor Sobolewski says there was a development permit that had lapsed for the men’s shelter and they need to get that going again.
“At the end of the day the Council decided in the interim, to give them $15,000 and then complete a review for the remainder,” Mayor Sobolewski said. “One of the things I spoke to Council about is that this is a very important step in Bonnyville.”
Mayor Sobolewski says we desperately need facilities like this in the Town of Bonnyville, and this may be another one of the casualties to the municipality as an offload of the province to have the service.
“The Future Council may wrestle with the issue of having to invest in something like this to have the facility,” Mayor Sobolewski said. “I know the City of Edmonton has done it. And a lot of other communities are wrestling with this because there just aren’t the resources available anymore from the process, and that’s desperately needed in terms of your first step with affordable housing.”
While the men’s shelter is searching for other funding avenues. Council requested the Friendship Centre makes a delegation at a later meeting outlining their financial needs in more detail.