On behalf of the YMCA of Northern Alberta Board of Directors and YMCA Senior Management I wish to inform you of a decision related to the Downtown YMCA Housing facility.
For the past 2 years, the Board of Directors and Senior Management have completed a comprehensive review of the YMCA’s programs and services in Downtown Edmonton including the Downtown YMCA Housing Facility located on 102 A Ave.
After extensive review, we have made the difficult decision to close Downtown YMCA Housing facility by October 31, 2017.
We need to assure you this decision was not made lightly and a number of significant factors have led to this difficult decision, including:
- The Downtown YMCA Housing model used is called single room occupancy (SRO). Over time the philosophy, practices and standards have changed with the priority today focusing on permanency and affordability.
- The current single room occupancy model is not an ideal housing option for those experiencing housing vulnerabilities. Due to the facility limitations, we are restricted in providing critical elements that reflect a permanent supportive model such as on-site food service, barrier free access, independent washrooms, medical and medication management, access to mental health/addictions and aids to daily living services.
- The current operation is not financially sustainable and is projected to get worse.
- The facility is at end of life, and has significant site limitations and cannot be redeveloped to create a sustainable operating model.
Over the past several days, YMCA Management notified residents, staff and other important stakeholders to reassure them of our commitment to support this transition.
We are committed to support the transition of all residents by October 31, 2017, into more permanent, safe and affordable housing solutions that will improve their quality of life.
Our YMCA has considerable experience in re-housing our residents into affordable and sustainable housing and we will provide this service until every resident is re-housed. We have already begun conversations with our housing partners
We are also committed to support the transition of our dedicated and committed staff team at the Downtown YMCA Housing. We will work with each employee to offer them a new employment position within the YMCA.
As a charity, the YMCA has a long-standing commitment to the people we serve and especially to vulnerable populations. As an active partner in the 10-year plan to end homelessness we remain committed to providing affordable housing services at the Melcor YMCA Village and to delivering Housing First services in Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Wood Buffalo.
While this has been a very difficult decision, we are confident in our direction and believe it will strengthen and improve the YMCA’s program and service delivery in downtown Edmonton.
For more information, please call Nick Parkinson at 780-423-9600
Nick Parkinson Nancy Fraser
President & CEO Board Chair
YMCA of Northern Alberta YMCA of Northern Alberta.