October 22nd, 2020

Council agrees to spend $300K for intox facility


By Kalinowski, Tim on December 11, 2019.

Lethbridge City Council unanimously supported spending $300,000 to help complete renovations of the Lethbridge Shelter to create a new intox centre in the city. Herald photo by Greg Bobinec @GBobinecHerald

Tim Kalinowski

Lethbridge Herald

tkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge city council has unanimously supported spending $300,000 to help complete renovations on the Lethbridge Shelter’s intox facility.

Council made the decision to allocate the funds during Monday’s public meeting. The $300,000 will be drawn from the City’s Municipal Block Fund reserve, which was formed based on a grant first received from the province back in 2009.

“We have requested of the province intox,” explained Coun. Belinda Crowson, who put forth the motion on council’s behalf, “and as part of that they have asked us to contribute some of the money towards it.”

The money will be used to build a perimeter fence around the new facility and to help complete other renovations on what will eventually be a 30-bed centre. The province will contribute annual funding to run the centre, but has asked the City to submit its share of what it proposes to pay for the new facility by January.

It is hoped the new intox facility, which currently has 12 beds to help keep those publicly high on drugs in a safe place to stay until they can sober up again, will have all 30 beds fully-up and running by next year. The intox centre will also serve as the first contact point toward further drug treatment and recovery programming for those who use it.

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ewingbt

Great to hear, that is a great first start.

If anyone remembers, the shelter used to be on 1st Avenue Sounth where Enmax Realtly now is. Due to all of the drunken, urinating, defecating, open sexual acts around the downtown businesses, they came up with an idea to move it to the current location and expand the availble beds.

Not treating the addictions was a mistake. Now, instead of alcohol, drug addicts are now the major users of the shelter and many times I walked by in the summer and saw open injecting outside along the eastside of the building. The shelter became the base for the addicts and many of the people committing the crimes! Ask police how many criminals were arrested there . . . Ask EMS how many times per day they respond to the shelter!

It is great to hear it is finally getting used for something that will help in this crisis, Treating addicts will get them off the streets and stop them from commiting the crimes if done effectively. Stop enabling addicts!!

Citi Zen

Perhaps a modicum of good news…… But, what becomes of these people once they are “cleaned up”? They will be released back into the same lifestyle as previously, but still FAS, and brain injured from all the drug abuse. They will never be able to get and hold a job, support themselves or their families. They will always be a burden on the taxpayer. Has anyone figured out what to do with them, then?
And never forget, the pusher is their best friend!

$300,000, hmmm (actual cost to the Alberta taxpayer is $1.6 million)

I predict this is not going to solve anything…

ewingbt

@ Cti Zen . . . I disagree. Lethbridge is no different when it comes to number of addicts than most of the other communities I have looked at, The costs would be reduced dramatically to treat those with mental health issues and FASD, instead of them on the streets causing more responses from police/fire/EMS and the more drugs they use the higher costs to all of the other services they need. The rippling effect from it multilples the costs you state dramatically.
If you don’t treat them and stabilize them with proper oversight then the costs multiply.

The effecttive treatment programs that I have resesrched have the same issues and they only had a failure rate as low as 16%. To say they will never hold a job is not true!

How many people in this city with many challenges in they face work in this city? Whether is is FASD or brain injuries there are many working throughout this city. If these people area smart enough to commit crimes to support their addiction they are smart enough to work and have a better life that is not on the streets!

I have watched 2 different female addicts continue to do deadly Meth and Opioids and other drugs while pregnant, while working the streets in this city, and if they were treated, there would not be another child born with FASD or brain injuries. To say they would be useless to society is completely wrong when there is so much evidence to the contrary!