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Lethbridge Housing Authority looking for new supportive housing provider after YWCA bows out

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge Housing Authority looking for new supportive housing provider'
Lethbridge Housing Authority looking for new supportive housing provider
The Lethbridge Housing Authority will be looking for a new provider in our city to help with permanent supportive housing. As Quinn Campbell reports, this comes after the YWCA announced it wouldn't be continuing with its 24 units that currently provide the service – Mar 20, 2023

The YWCA serving Lethbridge and area announced they would not be renewing the Permanent Supportive Housing Women’s Residence Program contract when it expires March 31.

Jill Young, CEO of the YWCA, said the program which housed 24 women was becoming too much for the non profit.

“The program requires 24-hour care,” she said. “The needs for our individual women are very complex, and we are seeing a trend in the increase of complexity with medical needs and mental health needs as well.”

Robin James of the Lethbridge Housing Authority (LHA) said the contract the YWCA had was for very specific programming.

“Its a housing-first model that has been focused with a harm reduction lens. They are no longer interested in providing that service at their location, so that is the service we are looking to replace,” James told Global News.

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James said the funding for the program is provided through the province’s Outreach and Support Services Initiative (OSSI) which was being managed by the City of Lethbridge. As of April 1, the LHA will be taking control and say they understand the Y’s decision to not renew the contract.

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“The YWCA is trying to support women and children trying to flee domestic violence. At the same time, they are trying to support individuals who are currently struggling with mental health and addiction, and episodic or chorionic homelessness.

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“A lot of times, it’s very difficult to manage those two populations together, so we have to be very respectful of the Y and their decision,” added James.

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She said they are eager to start overseeing the initiative and plans are already underway to find a new provider.

“We hope to have a request for proposals (RFP) out this week for a supportive housing provider that can provide a recovery focused type housing for those individuals — not only being displaced from the change from the YWCA, but also other individuals who are looking for housing that need more intensive supports.”

The YWCA will continue to assist women and their families fleeing domestic abuse, along with a number of other programs.

The Lethbridge YWCA is working with community partners in the hopes of relocating the supportive housing participants before the end of the month.

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