For the first winter ever, there will be full day-time access to emergency beds for individuals with addiction issues. Hope Mission has received funding from the province to operate 150 crisis spaces on a 24-7 basis.
“A lot of people actually don’t know this, but there is no place for some one who’s homeless to sleep during the day in our city,” said Hope Mission spokesman Robin Padanyi. “So this is a first for Edmonton and a first for Hope Mission.”
“The thing we’re looking at here at Hope Mission is the opportunity we have now for referral and giving people that safe warm place during the day. Getting to see the impact it’s going to have on our guests. We’re convinced this is going to be really transformative in how we as a city and we as mission care for our guests.”
The pilot begins Nov. 1, and one target is to help keep individuals with addictions issues out of hospital emergency wards.
“It’s an opportunity, especially as we’re looking at the coldest days of the year coming up to make sure that everyone in Edmonton who needs a safe warm place during the day has that opportunity,” Padanyi said.
“They can connect with long term care. A family physician, a nurse practitioner, we have psychiatrist on staff here. It’s already been a great success for us in the time we’ve run the program to divert some of that attention away from the emergency rooms.”
Hope Mission’s roving van will also be an added resource. “As people are out in the cold Edmonton winter our van will be able to refer them to that. We’re hoping that can be another connection point.”
The shelter is just north of downtown.