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Coliseum Inn will temporarily house vulnerable Edmontonians through COVID-19

File shot of the Coliseum Inn in Edmonton. .
File shot of the Coliseum Inn in Edmonton. . Global News

The Coliseum Inn will be converted into temporary housing for the city’s vulnerable amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 98-unit hotel will be leased to Boyle Street Community Services, with assistance from Homeward Trust Edmonton, to operate as a “bridge housing option” for people waiting to be placed in permanent homes.

“This creates more capacity for us to provide everyone with something most of us have been able to rely on in this crisis – a stable home where we can be healthy and protected,” said Susan McGee, CEO of Homeward Trust.

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The hotel was chosen partly because of its location near the Edmonton EXPO Centre, which is being operated as a drop-in day program and isolation health centre. Those staying at the Coliseum Inn will be able to access the services at the EXPO easily.

READ MORE: City of Edmonton working to get more showers for EXPO Centre COVID-19 facility

The day-to-day operations at the hotel will be run by Boyle Street.

Rent for the hotel will be funded by the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home Initiative.

“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 Coliseum Inn. “Given how close it is to the EXPO Centre and how that could help the teams provide services in either location, it was an easy decision.”

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After the COVID-19 crisis subsides, the hotel will revert to its previous commercial purpose.

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