A 98-unit hotel on Wayne Gretzky Drive will become a temporary residence for some of Edmonton’s homeless people during the COVID-19 crisis, says Homeward Trust Edmonton.
The Coliseum Inn, located a 10-minute walk from the day drop-in centre set up at the Expo Centre, will be leased and operated by Boyle Street Community Services with support from Homeward Trust and a federal government grant, says a news release.
“The Expo Centre is providing important services to community members during the day and for those needing isolation,” Susan McGee, Homeward Trust’s CEO, said in the news release.
“Now we are able to add a bridge housing option that further supports what we do every day — finding permanent homes for people who need them.”
Boyle Street Community Services took over the hotel on Monday with a lease that can be renewed on a three-month cycle, said Jordan Reiniger, the organization’s executive director.
People who are in the process of moving into a permanent home will stay in the hotel for a period of about 21 days. Room cleaning and linen service will be maintained in a fashion similar to other long-term hotel stays, Reiniger said.
The Coliseum Inn’s proximity to the Expo Centre means people can continue to access services, which are being provided by Homeward Trust, Boyle Street and the Bissell Centre.
“Because of our location, we have been connected to this community and the organizations that serve them,” said Alim Somji, executive vice-president of the Jaffer Group, which operates the hotel.
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