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Second elders shelter close to becoming a reality

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Another Elder’s Shelter could soon be built in Grande Prairie. On Tuesday, Community Living Committee members recommended that the city purchase a piece of land on 100 Avenue for Métis Local 1990 so that they can build a second shelter.

The idea of a second shelter was first brought up by President Angie Crerar in December 2017. She says it’s been a long road but she’s happy that it could soon be a reality.

“I feel like our vision is within reach. This is a happy day for us because now we can move forward. We’ve been waiting for the land for over a year and a half.”

The first shelter was built in 2003. It was designed to help homeless men and women aged 55 and older get back on their feet. The lease on that shelter was also recently extended by council on October 9th to last until 2040. Crerar says this second shelter is needed because they have outgrown the first one.

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“We have 17 beds. It does not meet the needs. If you’re going to help, you have to have the room you need to meet the needs of the people who come through our door. This project is so close to my heart. We’re taught since we’re little to look after our elders and after all these years we’re still fulfilling that promise.”

The land would cost the city $282,000 from the housing reserve fund. Total cost for the new shelter is expected to be around $7 million dollars. Crerar says she has secured federal funding for the project and is just waiting to find out about provincial money.

The land purchase will still have to be approved at a council meeting on December 3rd. If approved, Crerar hopes to start construction on the new building by next spring.

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