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City ending temporary funding to expand homeless day shelter space

Temporary funding by the City of Edmonton to expand day shelter spaces at the Bissell Centre and Boyle Street Community Services is running out.

The city last year approved additional money for the shelters. The city’s funding was originally brought in during the pandemic.

During a private meeting last week, city administration reminded councillors the funding was running low.

No one made a motion for additional support.

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said the funding was always meant to be a temporary emergency measure and falls outside the city’s jurisdiction.

“Dealing with houselessness, dealing with shelter spaces, which have increased over the last few months, are provincial responsibilities, and we filled that gap during (the COVID-19 pandemic),” Sohi told media on Wednesday.

“I think at this time it is very difficult to continue to take on the responsibilities that the province should be meeting under their constitutional obligations.”

CTV News Edmonton has contacted the Alberta government for a response.

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