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Council to mull social services centre proposal

The future of a large social services centre, proposed to be opened at the site of the Stonebridge Hotel still has to pass through Grande Prairie City Council, however, one councillor is giving a little more insight into what the proposal would mean for the city.

Councillor Dylan Bressey says while a full debate will happen at a future council meeting, he believes it could already be quite a bit different than similar-sounding projects, like that at the Parkside Hotel.

“We inherited tenants when the city transitioned into a supportive housing arrangement, and there is a difference between inheriting tenants and custom place tenants in a facility,” he says.

“As we are looking for supportive housing units, this isn’t an emergency shelter, this is a place that people actually pay rent, live, and start to build a life.”

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Bressey says the location of the proposed care centre, which would offer 24/7 support for varying levels of need related to mental health, physical health, and addiction, is also vital when it comes to a project of this magnitude.

“It’s not something you can put out in an industrial area if you want people to make a meaningful life there,” he says.

“So whether or not this is the right property for it, I don’t know, but wherever a development like this does happen there has to be opportunities for people to go about living their life.”

He adds the council discussion is also very likely to not only look at ways the project could make the community as a whole better but mitigate potential negative impacts on the surrounding neighbourhood of the facility.

The building will also have to be rezoned from its current use, with an anticipated soft opening date of August 2021.

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