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Dave Barr acting as overflow shelter for Rotary House clients

The City of Grande Prairie is running a temporary overflow shelter out of the Dave Barr Community Centre. Rotary House will continue to house the mat program while the Shelter Cot program clients, who pay a nominal fee for a bed, will move to the arena.

Mayor Bill Given says the initiative established through the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership will help in-need residents manage social distancing requirements.

“The space in Rotary House isn’t really enough to provide that physical separation that is required.”

With Rotary House having limited space required for proper distancing precautions, GPREP and the province identified the community centre as a temporary solution. The Alberta government has also provided funding for the additional facility.

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The overflow shelter will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including security, custodial, and client personnel staff.

“It will mean people that are most vulnerable in our community are also able to maintain proper distancing at a time when the rest of us are retreating to our homes.”

During the process of finding a separate facility, Rotary House Executive Director Kathy Lambert said earlier in March that the organization is being extra cautious to protect its vulnerable residents. Anyone displaying symptoms will be isolated until they can be moved out of the facility to an alternative, according to GPREP.

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