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Cold Lake Temporary Shelter approved for six months

A temporary shelter will be set up on 51 Street in downtown Cold Lake.

The Cold Lake John Howard Society submitted the shelter application and then was approved by Cold Lake’s Municipal Planning Commission during a recent meeting.

The property will be used to operate a mat program that will let people stay overnight. The society will serve three meals a day and looks to get support and counseling services to address homelessness.

The approval comes with some conditions that include the approval’s expiry after six months.

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Cold Lake’s Mayor and Municipal Planning Commission Chair Craig Copeland says that members of the business community and the applicants themselves noted that the location was not ideal for use as a temporary shelter.

“This approval essentially expires in six months, which allows all of those concerned to either make a new application for the same location or work towards an alternate solution while also providing continuity of the service.”

Copeland recognizes that the service is needed in the community.

The use of a property as a temporary shelter is among the discretionary uses permitted in a C1 Downtown Commercial District. A discretionary use may be allowed or denied by the development authority after its impact on neighboring properties is considered.

“The commission heard from people in the area about some of the negative impacts that the traffic to and from the temporary shelter can bring, and we also heard about the need for the Cold Lake John Howard Society’s work, and about a number of the successes they have had,” Copeland said.

“The MPC’s decision and the conditions attached to the approval take into account everyone’s desire to continue a community mat program while also acknowledging the desire to ultimately find another location for the service.”

In six months The John Howard Society will need to reapply to use the same location if it wishes to continue the service and no alternate location is achieved.

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