What is the community centre?
The Community Centre at Boyle Street is a vision, a pledge, a place and a new way of working that will make it possible to break the cycles of poverty, homelessness and ill health for people in Edmonton’s inner city.
Our vision is to restore hope and realize potential – in the people we serve, the people who serve them and the broader community – that it is possible for all people to thrive, not simply survive. Our pledge is to help people achieve the best possible outcomes for themselves and their families by providing the supports and services they need – when, how and where they want them.
Our preferred place is to radically repurpose, reclaim and restore the former Edmonton Remand Centre, transforming a place of darkness into a place of light and hope. Our goal, however, is not simply co-location. It is collaboration. Relentless collaboration. Through the Community Centre we will work together – non-profit and Government service providers - to break down barriers, fill-in the cracks, share resources and build knowledge – offering a complete range of collaborative, integrated services that have never been available in one place before.
At the Community Centre at Boyle Street people will find almost everything they need to create their own “customized” path to wellness – whatever their starting point. Supports and services will include:
• Social supports
• Employment services
• Financial and legal services
• Personal services, including 24/7 washrooms, showers and laundry facilities
• Indigenous services and cultural spaces
• Community space
• Integrated data collection, research and evaluation
• New supportive housing for 100 people
• Physical health and primary care services
• Safe sobering service
• Mental health and substance use services
• Housing services
• Family services
• Youth services
This revolutionary partnership, the first of its kind in Canada, combines 16 organizations to provide integrated and coordinated service delivery which will affect lasting and improved change to the lives to those most marginalized in our community.
It is an opportunity for us as service providers to engage in cross-sector collaboration and integration on a scale that has not been possible before in Edmonton.
How much will it cost?
The total cost of the project is 94 million dollars. 75% or about 71 million will come from the Provincial/Federal governments while the remaining 25% will be shared by the Municipal Government, private donations and the partners.
What are the benefits & and how much will it save?
The upfront cost of renovations to the former Edmonton Remand is a fraction of what will be saved in emergency, medical and social costs incurred every year by all levels of government.
Coordinated, integrated service delivery will provide an immediate cost savings of almost $500,000 per year in operation efficiencies. Further, the community centre will provide 3.9 million dollars per year in savings by supporting and housing people who were previously homeless. Finally, we expect to see $780,000 per year in emergency services costs saved by providing a more appropriate, safe and cost-effect response to public intoxication.
All told, we expect that this project will save over $5 million per year. The project will pay for itself in approximately 15 years.
Reconciliation Through Reclamation
The inclusion of distinctly Indigenous design features will reclaim the space of the Edmonton Remand, just as the services provided in the community centre will work to undo the systemic trauma which is a direct result of the Indian Residential School system. The Community Centre will be a dedicated space in downtown Edmonton for Indigenous spiritual and cultural practice.
The business case and subsequent plan aligns with the overall vision and several of the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.