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Feds contribute $21M to Boyle Street’s new support centre in downtown Edmonton

With a $21-million grant from the federal government, Boyle Street Community Services has been able to gather $45 million in funding for a new multi-service support centre in downtown Edmonton.

The new 75,000-square-foot facility will help those dealing with homelessness and poverty. Boyle Street had to move from its aging site on 105 Avenue beside Rogers Place on Sept. 30, 2023, when its lease expired.

Since October, Boyle Street Community Services has been temporarily offering its programs and services at five locations, including the Bissell Centre East, the Mercer Building and a Co-lab near 96 Street and 102A Avenue.

Click to play video: 'New Boyle Street King Thunderbird Centre approved for construction in central Edmonton'

New Boyle Street King Thunderbird Centre approved for construction in central Edmonton

The new site, okimaw peyesew kamik — in English, the Cree name translates to King Thunderbird Centre — is set to open in late 2024. It’s two blocks from the original centre, near 107A Avenue and 101 Street.

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On Friday, officials announced $21 million from the government of Canada through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program grant. At least 10 per cent of that federal funding is allocated to projects serving First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities, including Indigenous groups in urban centres.

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Boyle Street is contributing $24 million through its capital campaign.

Click to play video: 'Boyle Street Community Services to move immediately after lease not renewed'

Boyle Street Community Services to move immediately after lease not renewed

“This project has had lots of ups and downs,” said Jordan Reiniger, executive director of Boyle Street Community Services. “But with this investment, it removes all the uncertainty around this project. It will be built and we couldn’t be more excited.”

The new centre will be energy-efficient. The enhancements are expected to reduce the facility’s energy consumption by 99 per cent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 709 tonnes annually.

It will offer an essential range of programs and services, including health, housing, substance abuse, ID and financial services, and an outdoor space for ceremonies and land-based healing.

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Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi thanked federal minister Randy Boissonnault for his advocacy and Boyle Street for its continued hard work and efforts.

“Ensuring the important work of Boyle Street Community Services can continue in one centralized location that provides a reliable and safe space for the community will make our downtown a safer, more vibrant place to work and live,” Boissonnault said.

“This world-class facility is being built to better accommodate the unique needs of a vulnerable population and will provide dignified support to those who need it most in our city.”

Click to play video: 'Boyle Street’s King Thunderbird Centre gets permits'

Boyle Street’s King Thunderbird Centre gets permits

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