The phase of the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness that we’re currently in calls for the establishment of permanent supportive housing. We know that some Edmontonians who are homeless will only succeed in staying successfully housed if they’re given the supports they need on site. Right now there is not enough of this type of housing in Edmonton. So if we’re serious about ending homelessness in our city, the issue of permanent supportive housing must be addressed.

The building that Jasper Place Health and Wellness is proposing for Terwillegar will contain 60 apartments. The advantage is that it’s away from the downtown area, which many newly housed Edmontonians are anxious to leave behind them. They are eager to make the most of the opportunity Housing First offers with a fresh start away from old influences. However, as we’ve seen in the news in recent weeks, some residents of Terwillegar have significant concerns about the implications of permanent supportive housing in their community.

Sandra Dowie lives in Riverbend. Unlike some of her neighbours, she’s been speaking out in favour of the project. Sandra’s daughter struggled with homelessness and addiction for many years. However, with the help of Housing First she’s managed to piece her life back together.

Listen to Sandra’s interview on CBC here.