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Temporary cot overflow moving to Bowes Event Centre

The overflow program for the Rotary House is moving to the Bowes Event Centre in Revolution Place. The Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership says the facility wasn’t available when needed at the end of March, so the Dave Barr Community Centre was used instead.

Since being set up as a temporary cot facility on March 30th, the arena has housed an average of 36 people a night. It has a maximum capacity of 46, while the Bowes Event Centre can hold 43.

The cot program is not a drop-in shelter. Instead, staying overnight costs $10 for eligible and vetted residents of Rotary House.

There are 24-hour security and workers on-site, bags are searched and pockets checked upon arrival, and there is a curfew of 11 p.m. Patrols of the area by RCMP and peace officers will also be increased.

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The capacity of Rotary House was cut in half in March as a physical distancing measure. At that time, GPREP says the Bowes centre was designated for other emergency planning needs, but that restriction has since been removed by Alberta Health Services.

The changeover should happen over the next two weeks. The Dave Barr centre will then be available for planned community use.

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