June 24th, 2024

Funding proposed for Community Care Campus consultant


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on March 18, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

City council is being asked by its Cultural and Social Standing Policy Committee to approve up to $100,000 to procure a consultant to conduct community engagement on the creation of a made-for-Lethbridge community care campus.
The money will be used to create conceptual designs for such a campus and develop a business case for a campus.
The motion approved Thursday also calls upon administration to provide regular updates to the SPC at each step.
The motion was approved after lengthy debate and a presentation by Martin Thomsen, General manager of Community Social Development.
Thomsen told the committee the idea of a community care campus has been bantered around for about 20 years under many different names and interpretations.
“It could be as simple as co-locating like services, it could be co-locating similar and non-similar services,” he said.
“Council directed us last year to start exploring that concept. At the same time running parallel to that was the SSIG community who in their work brought up the concept of co-locating like services and that’s where it kind of gave birth to the two names, kind of came together.
“At the request of SSIG, we did an initial exploration document,” he said, adding “there are more questions than answers and some good questions. So what we’re coming to council for today is saying ‘this is a pretty deep and broad topic, lots of different opinions and our job is to collect that information in the most independent, unbiased way possible, present it back to council with some options. To do that, it’s going to require a study which is going to require money,” said Thomsen.
The request, said a report presented to the SPC, aligns with City Council’s 2022 action plan which prioritizes investigation into a made-for-Lethbridge community care campus.
A funding source hasn’t yet been identified but the presentation recommends using Council Contingencies.
A community care campus, says the report, “refers to either the integration or co-location of housing and homelessness resources (along with other pertinent services such as mental health and substance use supports) as a method to end chronic homelessness and enhance accessibility of services for clients.
“With the investigation of a community care campus being included in city council’s 2022 action plan, it is apparent there is a growing need for synergized, long-term accessibility of services for clients,” said the report.
“Procurement will take into consideration social-driven procurement strategies and ensure criteria for submitting a proposal centres the dignity and respect of prospective users of the community care campus,” said the report.
Creation of a campus would fulfill several roles, according to the report.
They include:
* Creation of a Community Care Campus would ensure greater accessibility of services, whether services are co-located or integrated;
* Enhancement of well-being by creation of a Community Care Campus that centres client dignity, purpose and belonging (asset-driven approach rather than deficit);
* Improvement of housing outcomes, says the report.
Any conceptual renderings will provide a design catered to Lethbridge and take into consideration it’s environment, says the report.
It adds that with Lethbridge being the biggest urban hub for many rural communities, the campus would ensure accessible treatment options for those who might not be able to receive treatment in their own communities.
“Critical to a community care campus is approach. As has been identified in other studies and reports, a paradigm shift is occurring within housing and homelessness whereby merely managing homelessness is deemed inadequate to ending homelessness,” said the report adding a campus aligns with this approach in providing relevant services within close proximity to better serve clients. This increases the potential for moving people out of chronic homelessness, says the report.

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