Hope Mission Health Centre providing care for Edmonton’s homeless

Watch above: A new centre is up and running that promises to help those most vulnerable in the city. As Vinesh Pratap explains, it’s hoped the service will ease pressure elsewhere.

EDMONTON — The Hope Mission is known as a place for Edmonton’s homeless to get a meal and find shelter. Now, a new health centre there will provide even more help for the city’s most vulnerable.

Some small offices have been converted into a place where doctors can provide medical and psychiatric care.

“Many of these clients have mental health problems and addiction problems,” said Dr. Margaret Querijero, a psychiatrist at the centre.

“We’ve had some clients come into the clinic who were suicidal. But after crisis intervention, talking to them, somehow their thoughts are redirected.”

Health centre staff will be available five days a week through the entire day. Funding will come through the province and a grant.

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With direct access to doctors, it’s hoped fewer people will end up at the city’s sometimes overburdened emergency rooms.

According to Alberta Health, homeless adults are admitted to hospital five times more than the general population.

With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News