Sunrise House has received $500,000 in additional provincial funding via the Community Facility Enhancement Program as they continue to plan for their expanded shelter. Executive Director Tanya Wald says this is another big step in the right direction.
“We have been waiting on the confirmation of this funding for a little while now. I was really excited to see it come through. The additional funding gives us a start on our capital campaign to raise the remaining funds needed for the project,” she says.
The project cost is approximately $5.5 million and Sunrise House has just under $2 million left to raise in capital funding.
“The funds for CFEP are generally announced around October or November so we did experience a bit of a delay there. We really wanted to get moving on our capital campaign as soon as we could. To do that, we needed all those final numbers from our municipalities and our government,” she says.
Wald says that she and everyone else at Sunrise House feel very confident that the project will move forward. The group has been working on expanding its services in the form of a new building since November of 2019.
“We recently approached Grande Prairie City Council with regards to the land we intend to build on. Part of our process involves looking at the zoning of that land and we did have to apply for a land-use amendment with community consultations back in the fall,” she says.
The group intends to build in the Westgate area of the city, near Margaret Edgson Manor. Wald explains that she’s had positive conversations with city officials and others on the project.
“Our work with the city and the other municipalities has been really well received. Everybody has been ready at the table, recognizing the importance of the project and trying to help us move forward in the best way possible,” she adds.
The organization hopes to see the building of the expanded shelter start in the early spring or summer, and estimates that the facility will be ready in about 12 months after construction begins. The shelter takes in around 110-120 youth per year and the new building will allow the group to double their intake capacity and help more youth in need.