A new supportive housing site is welcoming Edmonton’s most vulnerable population in from the cold.
The Mustard Seed’s Prairie Manor, located near Whyte Avenue, first opened its doors in the summer and is now at 70 per cent capacity.
The site is part of the federal government’s national housing program, Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). It is one of eight projects funded by the City of Edmonton and federal government to provide housing for vulnerable people.
RHI is a $2.5-billion program under the National Housing Strategy, created to address the urgent and immediate need for affordable housing through rapid construction of over 10,000 units country-wide.
“Prairie Manor is not just welcoming Edmontonians who might struggle to keep finding stable housing this winter, it’s giving them a permanent place to call home,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi.
“This project builds on The Mustard Seed’s long history of working to address houselessness, reduce poverty and help Edmontonians meet their basic needs.”
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The RHI program allowed the city to renovate the former Strathcona Junction into an 85-self-contained-unit space that provides urgent housing. The overall investment was $9.2 million from RHI and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and $1.7 million from the city.
Prairie Manor is an inclusive space with “floors dedicated to individuals with low mobility, females and sober living,” reads a news release Tuesday.
The site has 49 units reserved for Indigenous peoples, who currently make up 57 per cent of the population experiencing homelessness.
To secure a spot, residents sign a lease and pay rent that is 30 per cent of their income. Residents are welcome to furnish and decorate their units to their own personal taste. Supports are also available on an as-need basis through referrals and visits, with staff on-site 24 hours.
“The Mustard Seed is so grateful for the opportunity to create a space where those who have experienced homelessness can find comfort and peace,” said Katie Kitschke, director of housing, The Mustard Seed Edmonton.
“We know that there is still so much work to be done, but we are proud to be a part of it.”
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