Following eight months of comprehensive research, reviews of best practices, targeted interviews, and community conversations, the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) Task Force on Homelessness is pleased to announce the release of its interim "What We Heard" report.
"As we share this interim report, we extend our sincere gratitude to all those who engaged with us throughout our research phase," said Lyn Radford, Task Force Chair. "The perspectives shared with us have been instrumental in shaping our understanding of the complex issue of homelessness in Red Deer and informing our interim report."
Since May 2023, the Chamber's Task Force has prioritized listening and learning from various organizations and individuals to better understand the homelessness situation in Red Deer.
The Task Force:
reviewed studies, municipal approaches, and news articles regarding best practices in addressing homelessness in Alberta and across North America;
toured 17 agencies and facilities providing support for individuals experiencing homelessness in Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer;
conducted 12 targeted interviews with government officials, social sector agencies, and community members who are experienced in social services or connected to homelessness initiatives; and
hosted two community conversations to learn and hear from the social sector and Chamber Members on their perspectives and experiences regarding homelessness in Red Deer, with 47 individuals participating in these conversations.
The interim report outlines the Task Forces’ understanding of the homelessness situation in Red Deer and provides a summary of what has been learned during the research phase.
“Assessing the data and research gathered through our business lens, the Task Force has identified six key overarching themes that contribute to homelessness in Red Deer and are areas where the business community can actively contribute to address the issue and advocate for meaningful change,” says Scott Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber. “We invite Red Deerians to review the report and provide their feedback on our findings by February 16, 2024. Your feedback is crucial in guiding our next steps as we strive to develop recommendations that are sound, relevant, and responsible. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in addressing homelessness in Red Deer."
The interim report and feedback form may be viewed at: https://www.reddeerchamber.com/homeless-task-force/.