The City of Grande Prairie recognizes the unauthorized encampment south of Rotary House is a serious issue in our community.
The safety and security of nearby residents, businesses and campers is of the utmost priority as we seek to address the underlying causes that have led to this situation.
We are working together with all appropriate departments and external agencies to work in-sync on a community-based solution. Our primary focus is on finding permanent solutions that will be sustainable in the long term and mitigate future issues. Currently, we are putting immediate measures in place at the site of the unauthorized encampment to create a temporary transition site and address the existing conditions and prevent further deterioration. Our goal is to:
- Address ongoing community concerns
- Mitigate issues for businesses and residents
- Assess the individuals in the encampment and connect them with housing and support services
On Tuesday, September 3 the City along with our partner agencies are dismantling the existing, unauthorized encampments and redirecting those still requiring shelter to our temporary transition site or other appropriate housing options.
The on-site measures are temporary until October 2. Key features include 24/7 staffing, perimeter fencing, access control, lighting, sanitation and rules consistent with existing permanent shelters.
In addition to these measures, The St. Lawrence Centre is opening day shelter services at Rotary House on September 3; individuals in the encampment will be encouraged to use the site during the day and the Rotary House Mat Program in the evening. We are continuing to work on establishing a permanent building for a permanent, long-term day shelter.
A Winter Emergency Response Program is anticipated to open in October to provide shelter relief during the winter season.
We thank everyone for their patience and cooperation as we take these measures to address this issue for the whole community.