May 18th, 2024

Mustard Seed turned down for federal funding

By Herald on January 27, 2021.

The Ramada hotel building along Mayor Magrath Drive South was the proposed site for The Mustard Seed's supportive housing facility in Lethbridge. Herald file photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Tim Kalinowski
Lethbridge Herald
The Mustard Seed is confirming that it will not receive funding from the federal government’s Rapid Re-Housing Fund to open a permanent supportive housing facility in Lethbridge.
The group has been hoping to receive the funding from the federal government to purchase the Ramada Inn at 1303 Mayor Magrath Drive to convert into a long term, sober, supportive housing facility for those in need in the city.
The Mustard Seed had been seeking approval to rezone the hotel for these purposes at the public hearing before city council on Feb. 9. Public opposition to the project had been growing in recent weeks in the Lakeview area where the Ramada is located
The Herald broke the story about the federal government’s funding decision first in an exclusive on Wednesday afternoon, but later spoke with Mustard Seed CEO Stephen Wile to get more details about the organization’s plans now that federal money will not be forthcoming for this initiative.
Wile said it was disappointing, but also noted the federal government had received $7.5 billion in applications from across the country for the $500 million Rapid Re-Housing pot available.
“We had hoped we would be one of the organizations across Canada that received the money,” he said, “but unfortunately it didn’t happen. While this is certainly the end of the road for this particular project at this particular time, we don’t know what the federal government is going to do in terms of increasing the availability of low-income housing for needy Canadians. We are hoping this rapid housing funding money (demand) will prove to the government there is a need out there, and it is significant.”
Wile said The Mustard Seed still plans to open its new substance free emergency shelter in downtown Lethbridge this year.
“We will be opening a substance free shelter that will provide for the basic needs of vulnerable citizens of Lethbridge,” Wile confirmed. “We have been talking about this for three years with the community. There is a need there. There is a need for a dry shelter for people that are trying to get away from the addictive lifestyle. So we feel quite strongly we should support the city by providing that shelter.”

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Dennis Bremner

This is now the time to rethink the stupidity of placing this facility adjacent to a neighborhood. So when a facility is built or purchased the city is well aware of what the residents/taxpayers will approve!

Last edited 3 years ago by Dennis Bremner

There was no need for another shelter in this city! Before COVID the existing shelter was never full. There were people who stayed there that needed treatment, mentally or for addictions that never got what they needed.
The safe consumption site attracted people from outide our community, here causing more homeless issues. The Mustard Seed is not needed and the fear is they will not only attract more people here, but when their other sites in the province overflow, they may ship them here!
We do not need it! We need the other ‘effective’ treatment beds open now and we better policing supported by the Crown, and Council allowing police to do their jobs to clean up the streets, no matter who the trouble makers are . . . all are to be treated equal under the law!
The existing support groups in this city just need to collaborate and enhance some of the services they provide . . . they know the community, not an outside organization . . . have we not learned from the SCS fiasco!!