How were the sites chosen?

    The locations were chosen based on available land and development opportunities and several criteria. Some of the key criteria were:

    • Close to health and support services;
    • Walking distance to amenities like park space and grocery stores;
    • Access to transit; and
    • Available infrastructure.

    Avondale (10011/10017 - 105 Ave)

    In addition to the criteria above, the Avondale location provides the opportunity for infill development on an underutilized site. 

    Downtown (10038 - 98 St)

    The Downtown location project is a renovation of an existing building that was previously used for supportive housing. In addition to meeting the above mentioned criteria, the project is an opportunity to redevelop a vacant building, helping to make the Downtown more attractive.

    How long will these projects take?

    There are a lot of variables that can impact the timelines for these projects. The tentative timelines are as as follows:

    Avondale (10011/10017 - 105 Ave)

    • September - Rezoning
    • October - Funding
    • November - Design
    • January (2021) - Permits
    • March (2021) - Construction Start
    • Summer (2022) - Facility Opening

    Downtown (10039 - 98 St)

    • September - Rezoning
    • October - Funding & Permits
    • November - Construction Starts
    • July - Facility Opening

Community Supportive Housing

    What is Community Supportive Housing?

    Community Supportive Housing is a form of housing that includes on-going supports for residents' physical, mental and behavioral health needs. It is typically intended to house persons experiencing homeless or at risk of homelessness due to their complex needs.

    The proposed projects will be multi-unit facilities that will be similar to apartment buildings. They will have 24 hour staffing and access to the building will be controlled.

    Why do we need Community Supportive Housing in Grande Prairie?

    Currently in Grande Prairie, there is a shortage of adequate housing and support options for persons experiencing chronic homelessness and living with mental health and addiction issues. All of Alberta’s seven largest cities, except Grande Prairie, have community supportive housing programs as key components of their efforts to end homelessness. These community supportive housing program is an important part of the City’s plan to ensure that everyone has a place to call home.

    What are the benefits of Community Supportive Housing for residents?

    Community supportive housing provides a stable home for people with no other housing options.

    Benefits of supportive housing include:

    • Improved effectiveness of other programs addressing homelessness;
    • Reduced number of people experiencing chronic homelessness;
    • Improved physical and mental well-being for residents;
    • Increased social inclusion and independence for residents; and
    • Reduced costs to services related to chronic homelessness, including shelter use, hospital visits, and involvement with police and corrections.

    Does Community Supportive Housing reduce homelessness?

    Supportive housing reduces homelessness in the community. Once in community supportive housing, individuals previously experiencing homelessness report improvements in access to employment, income, education, addiction issues, mental health, and life skills.

    • 94% of supportive housing residents remained housed
    • 84% of supportive housing residents reported improved overall wellbeing
    • 54% of supportive housing residents reported improved access to employment
    • 39% of supportive housing residents reported improvement in addiction issues

Common Concerns

    Will Community Supportive Housing increase crime in my neighborhood?

    Data indicates a reduction in calls to police from neighborhoods surrounding supportive housing sites following the project roll-out. Calls to police decreased in 4 of 6 supportive housing sites in the first 6 months after the projects were launched.

    • 4,676 calls during the 6 months before opening.
    • 3,821 calls during the first 6 months after opening.

    Will Community Supportive Housing change my neighborhood?

    Many supportive housing residents have an existing connection with the neighborhood and report experiencing positive interactions with neighbors.

    • 77% of supportive housing residents report a prior connection to the neighborhood.
    • 82% of supportive housing residents report positive interactions with neighbors.
    • 73% of supportive housing residents report having friends and relatives in the neighborhood.

    Will my taxes go up to pay for Community Supportive Housing?

    The cost of providing supportive housing is less than the cost of providing health and public safety services needed to address homelessness.

    • On average, a person experiencing homelessness with addictions and/or mental health issues uses $55,000 per year in health care and corrections services.
    • On average, a person in supportive housing with addictions and/or mental health issues uses $37,000 per year in health care and corrections services.
    • Every dollar invested in supportive housing creates $4-5 in social and economic value.
    • Supportive housing residents were 64% less likely than shelter clients to use ambulance services.
    • Average hospital stays for supportive housing residents was 50% less than shelter clients.

    Will Community Supportive Housing affect property values in my neighborhood?

    Property values immediately surrounding supportive housing sites typically keep pace with trends of the surrounding municipality.

    • 10/13 property values immediately surrounding supportive housing sites kept pace or surpassed municipal trends.

Staffing & Facility

    What are the typical hours of operation for supportive housing staff?

    Typically, the facility and staff team would operate on a twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week model. This ensures that essential supports and services are accessible and timely for all residents. A minimum of three staff are required at night to ensure safety.

    What kind of support staff are typical in Community Supportive Housing programs?

    Typical Community Supportive Housing staff may include:

    • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN);
    • Recreational Therapist;
    • Nurse Practitioner;
    • Addiction Counselor;
    • Mental Health Therapist; and
    • Housing support staff.

    The specific staffing for each project will be determined at  a later stage.

    What kind of administration staff is typical in Community Supportive Housing programs?

    To support guest management and maintain a presence for residents and guests, the administration office is typically located near the front entrance in full view of anyone entering or exiting the building. Staff will monitor guests coming onsite and will provide a daily log of who is in the building at all times.

    What kind of security precautions are typically put in place at Community Supportive Housing sites?

    • Surveillance cameras for common areas, at building entrances and on all sides of the building exterior, including the parking area. Typically, there is a CCTV monitor station at the reception desk, so staff can monitor the images 24/7 and electronically release the building entrance doors after screening visitors;
    • Locked exterior doors. Residents will use key fobs, cards or a similar device to enter through locked doors; and
    • Automatic locks on resident units.