RMWB, partner agencies clearing downtown encampment, assisting residents with housing options

The RMWB is collaborating with partner agencies to assist residents living in a tent city along Manning Avenue and Clearwater Drive.

According to Greg Bennett, Strategist for Communications and Engagement at the RMWB, the individuals residing in the encampment are being moved to more secure housing that provides access to support and assistance services.

The makeshift accommodations in the downtown area were housing over 20 people experiencing homelessness, leading to concerns from local businesses and residents regarding safety and criminal activity in the lower townsite.

The RMWB has confirmed that individuals living in the tent city were given advance notice about their upcoming relocation.

Partner agencies and caseworkers will work closely with these residents to provide support and resources, including assistance with packing their belongings. Additionally, transportation to the new housing locations is being arranged.

The RMWB acknowledges that homelessness remains an ongoing and complex issue in the region.

“The municipality emphasizes its strong partnerships with various local groups, including Alberta Health Services, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Wood Buffalo Wellness Society, Salvation Army, YMCA of Northern Alberta, Northreach Society, and the Centre of Hope,” stated Bennett in an email.

“These agencies play crucial roles within the “Community Plan on Homelessness,” which is rooted in the “housing first” philosophy. Collaboratively, these agencies are dedicated to addressing the fundamental causes of homelessness and developing sustainable, long-term solutions.”

The RMWB says the area will be cleaned after the encamped residents are removed. Debris will be cleared, the streets will be swept, and grass mowing will take place.

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