Letter to City Council

Members of City Council City of Leduc, 1 Alexandra Park, Leduc, AB T9E 4C4

Dear Members of the Leduc City Council,

The Leduc HUB faces the threat of closure. We are writing to challenge our council to make a bold, unified, and public commitment that it will not let our community suffer any interruption to the provision of essential emergency shelter services to residents of Leduc and surrounding rural communities.

Leduc’s commitment to the issue of homelessness in our city is well-established. In recent years, the city has commissioned a framework, participated in a task force, launched a public awareness campaign for homelessness, made countless public statements, and explored land acquisitions – all supporting the emergency shelter services offered by the Leduc HUB. 

  • In 2021, the City of Leduc documented the extent of the need for shelters in our city in the City of Leduc Homelessness Prevention and Poverty Framework. The framework identifies municipal goals to improve access to social services, eliminate barriers to social services for low-income residents, provide temporary housing to people who are homeless, and ensure the existing temporary housing at the HUB is available all year.  The framework also states that “there is a need for shelter spaces all year,” recommends additional spaces, and suggests options to maintain shelter service in Leduc.  
  • In 2022, the mayor of the City of Leduc publicly endorsed the objectives of the framework in media commentary and positioned the City to continue leading efforts to eliminate homelessness by committing to “put words into actions” and to “start looking at these challenges through a new lens and recognize the opportunities, nor hurdles, to give people and hand up instead of a handout.” I commend the mayor for his leadership on this issue and implore all of council to recognize that actions to maintain emergency shelter services in our community offer vulnerable people an opportunity to rise out of poverty safely. 
  • In 2023, the City of Leduc invested in the taxpayer-funded “Not the Plan”  campaign, which has been essential in raising public awareness about the incidence of homelessness and the solutions required to end it in our community. During the campaign’s launch, City representatives said, “We hope our ‘Not the Plan’ campaign will help the community understand and support the kinds of changes that can improve the situation.”

Through these years and for much longer, City Council has allocated valuable provincial government funding to the Leduc HUB through the Family and Community Support Services grant. 

The City of Leduc should be proud of its leadership on this issue and its consistent precedent of supporting social services and the emergency shelter in Leduc. 

Recently, misconceptions and misinformation about our impact on community and safety have eroded that support. Today, the HUB faces the triple threat that threatens our closure: an expiring operating permit, an expiring lease, and no new place in our community to call home.  

We have taken several steps to prevent this. Following unsuccessful negotiation for a new downtown location, the HUB has re-applied for a permit to continue operations in our current space, obtained a conditional lease agreement, and launched a public engagement campaign. We continue to collaborate with local stakeholders to help with potential relocation.

The Leduc City Council has an opportunity to show unified leadership and ensure emergency shelter services remain in our city by taking immediate action to support our efforts. We ask the council to take action to protect our most vulnerable, prevent more encampments, and demonstrate a commitment to ensure uninterrupted access to homeless shelter services in Leduc.

Immediate actions council can take today are:

  1. Make a public commitment to ensure uninterrupted access to emergency shelter services in Leduc.
  2. Make a public statement encouraging local businesses to support the Leduc HUB.
  3. Allocate portion(s) of City-owned land for emergency shelter services. 
  4. Explore similar land donations from the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada.

We implore all members of City Council to leverage the valuable commitments our city has made in recent years to address the issue of homelessness. 

We urge you to take action to ensure the ongoing operations of the Leduc HUB.

Sincerely,

Brenda Reimer (Chair) and Jill Mitchell (Vice Chair),  Leduc Hub Association

Cc:

Leduc Hub Association Board of Directors and Executive Director

Derek Prohar, City Manager, City of Leduc City Manager

Brenda Smith, Chair, Leduc Downtown Business Association

Amber Cook, Downtown Director, Leduc Downtown Business Association

Leduc County Mayor and Council

City of Beaumont Mayor and Council

Town of Calmar Mayor and Council

Town of Devon Mayor and Council

Town of Thorsby Mayor and Council

Village of Warburg Mayor and Council

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