Discussion continues on homelessness for Slave Lake

Callie Hermanson
Lakeside Leader

February’s monthly Homeless Coaltion meeting had a better turn out, as 17 people were in attendance. They included RCMP Staff Sergeant John Spaans and Town of Slave Lake Mayor Tyler Warman.

The intent of this month’s meeting was to not just talk about the issues around the homeless and vagrants, but to try and build a plan that could be put to action in the future.

The meeting started off by Barb Courtorielle, executive director for the Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre, talking about the stats from the Mat Program. She said for the month of February the intake number has dropped significantly, with only three new intakes. Courtorielle added they also had fewer incidents to report, with only two police calls.

Courtorielle said two of her Mat Program regular seniors have moved into housing. She said a community member with a trailer has allowed them to rent it. Courtorielle says the food bank is still helping to provide them food.

The next item discussed is an issue caused by the shut down of the White Buffalo group home. Courtorielle said the home had housed young adults with mental health issues. As a result, several of the young adults are now homeless.

“These people do not have the mental capability to live on the streets,” Courtorielle said.

Courtorielle explained two of the young adults, young women from the group home, are now causing several problems and have even developed drug and alcohol problems.

The floor was then opened up to a community awareness discussion. This created a large and long group discussion that seemingly circled back to the same thing: what should be done to put the kibosh on some of the arising problems?

Warman asked attendees to get the ball rolling and out of the discussion phase. He suggested sending three ideas about things that could be done with in the next 30 days. Haylie Millard and Chris Brown of the town of Slave Lake would then write something up with all the ideas and distribute them.

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