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Rotary House turning away new clients over capacity concerns

The Grande Prairie Rotary House may have as little as a few weeks to get things back to capacity. Officials have also confirmed they will begin to turn away new clients until that goal is reached.

This comes after the Rotary House was ordered by the province to slash their emergency population due to being over capacity for over a year.

“We aren’t taking any new people. We are having to turn away,” says Executive Director Kathy Lambert. “We’ve been working with clients this past year in moving them to different programs. We’ve definitely had some successful cases where they were able to obtain market housing.”

As many as 45 clients of Rotary House are on the list to be relocated to other housing. Lambert says time is of the essence.

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“There is definitely a deadline we are working towards. It’s probably going to have to be in the next few weeks.”

City of Grande Prairie Homeless Initiatives Supervisor Katherine Schmidt has said much of the overcrowding this past winter may be due to an increase in drug use and a higher than normal transient population coming into Grande Prairie. Lambert says the situation in Grande Prairie is a priority for the province as they’ve been over capacity for over a year.

“We have been given direction to just be at capacity. We are working closely with them to rectify that and move people into other supports”

Lambert was unable to provide a specific timeline as to when Rotary House must fully comply with the province’s order.

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