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Site Information

Address: 14125 137 Avenue NW

Number of Storeys: 6

Number of Units: 50

Types of Units:

  • 20 studio units

  • 5 barrier-free studio units

  • 20 one bedroom units

  • 5 barrier-free one bedroom units

Site Visuals

Additional Information

Rezoning

The City has filed a planning application for 14125 137 Avenue NW. The application proposes to rezone the site from Alternative Jurisdiction Zone (AJ) to Medium Rise Apartment Zone (RA8). If approved, the proposed zone will allow for a 6-storey (23 metres) apartment building (multi-unit housing). 

All planning applications are required to undergo the same rigorous analysis by the City’s Planning Coordination section, whether they are filed by another City department or a private developer. This analysis involves reviewing the proposal for technical considerations, including traffic and parking impacts, and alignment to relevant City priorities, plans and policies.

There will be a public hearing on this planning application at City Council in late fall 2020. You will be able to register to submit comments or speak remotely at the public hearing.  Find more information about the application and how you can participate in the public hearing on the McArthur Industrial Planning Applications page.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know community members have questions about supportive housing and how it might affect their community. Follow the link below for answers to the most common questions. 

FAQ

Community Engagement

We want to hear from you. Today’s residents of Wellington and the future residents of supportive housing will both benefit if this building is well-integrated and supported by the community.

Early Feedback

In July, the City of Edmonton ran an online survey and held a series of online roundtable discussions with members of the Wellington community.

Wellington residents who provided early input are concerned about the safety of their neighbourhood and children, and worried about how this development will affect them. Many were supportive of the concept of supportive housing and measures to end homelessness generally, but raised a variety of concerns about this development being nearby, given existing concerns about safety in the community over the last number of years.

Read more about frequently occurring feedback themes. 

Have Your Say

Community-wide digital engagement is now open until Tuesday, September 22, 2020 and 11:55pm at Engaged Edmonton. 

Community members are invited to provide input on a Good Neighbour Plan, a tool for developing and maintaining a positive relationship between supportive housing and the community. It will outline the shared commitments of the service provider and community, and identify who the community can contact with concerns. 

Community members can also provide input on the look and feel of the building and the proposed rezoning. 

Feedback on the Good Neighbour Plan and building design will be captured in a What We Heard Report and posted publicly. The operator, once selected, will review the report and provide an updated Good Neighbour Plan to the community. Feedback on the rezoning proposal will be shared with City Council at a public hearing in late fall 2020.

Supportive Housing Stories

Many people have asked about the experiences of people who live in supportive housing. Residents in four different supportive housing sites agreed to share their stories. Names have been changed to protect privacy, but no other details have been changed.

 

Harris

Harris grew up in New Brunswick, but moved to Alberta to work in a machine shop around 30 years ago. In 2001, he lost his job, and with few connections and resources, he found himself homeless shortly thereafter. He spent almost 7 years living in encampments in the river valley and struggling with addiction.

In 2014, Homeward Trust’s Pathways to Housing program staff met Harris and helped him access a place in supportive housing. He has experienced significant health challenges in recent years and has lost much of his mobility, but the supports and access to medical care available in supportive housing keep him comfortable. 

It took time for Harris to adjust to living in housing. After so many years sleeping outside and being constantly on alert, he struggled to feel secure in his apartment, and for the first year he always kept his things in a backpack by the door, afraid he’d be forced to leave. But in the 5 years he’s lived in supportive housing, he’s become adjusted, and likes the security of knowing he’ll have a safe place to sleep at night. 

Harris describes himself as a private person, but he enjoys the camaraderie of supportive housing, and having a place where he can put his things and enjoy some privacy. Because of his disability, he doesn’t go out much, but he likes to drink coffee from his favourite mug and watch black and white movies with other residents during the day, particularly Westerns. He’s also developed an interest in gardening and is looking after many plants in his apartment.

In terms of services, Harris gets help with accessing disability-friendly transportation when he needs to travel, grocery shopping, managing his AISH cheques, and taking his medication. He is still in recovery from drug use, but he is able to access weekly group therapy sessions to talk about addictions and recovery, and he makes use of the treatment programs that are available through the housing and medical staff.

When asked what he wishes people outside supportive housing knew about this type of facility, Harris said he would want people to understand that residents are just trying to get help, and that the dignity and safety they get from being housed is really important. For the future, he plans to continue living in supportive housing and getting treatment for his health issues and addiction. 

Darren

Darren is 24 years old. He lives with Fetal-Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), but he didn’t get an FASD diagnosis until he was an adult. In the past, he had a hard time maintaining independent housing or living with family. He became connected with supportive housing through his social worker. While he has never been homeless, his worker felt he would benefit from the structure, support and community of supportive housing. His rent in supportive housing is paid through his AISH payments. 

Darren has been living in supportive housing for 3 years. For most of that time, he’s lived with his roommate Eric, who has become a good friend, and together they have a cat. On a regular day, Darren likes to visit the gym and the nearby library, and volunteers with a local community youth organization, where he is working with the staff to develop an anti-bullying program. He has previously worked part-time in retail positions when seasonal work was available; now he is working on building his resume with the help of the supportive housing staff. 

Darren said that moving into supportive housing has been “liberating” for him. He has people to help him manage his emotions and day to day tasks when he needs support. He has found a small community of people who understand his experience with FASD. Darren said that in his life, he’s found that “there are times in life when yourself isn’t enough, and sometimes it’s as simple as having someone there to help.” That help has allowed him to maintain housing and develop independence.

For the future, Darren is hoping to get his anti-bullying program off the ground. He would like to enrol in school to finish his GED through Norquest and eventually hopes to become a social worker, so he can give back the support he has received. While he doesn’t see himself moving out of supportive housing soon, he is hopeful that eventually he will feel secure and prepared enough to manage living on his own when he is ready. 

Leslie

Leslie left home in northern Saskatchewan when he was 13 years old — more than 50 years ago now. He had 50 cents in his pocket when he left, but he also took with him a knowledge of Cree and a strong respect for Indigenous ceremony. He struggled with addiction over the next several decades, travelling across Canada and falling in and out of sobriety.

Around four years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer and received treatment in Red Deer. He lost the ability to walk, and was not expected to live, but he worked every day to walk again and reconnect with Indigenous ceremony. In the midst of his cancer recovery, he was invited by an Indigenous elder to come live in a supportive housing facility in Edmonton that is centred around Indigenous culture and traditions. 

For Leslie, the biggest impact of supportive housing has been that it has given him hope. He told us that “a little bit of hope can break a cycle,” and that the feeling of safety and stability he’s found in housing has been critical to his health recovery. The staff and residents participate in ceremony together, and that process has helped Leslie to gain a stronger sense of hope and self-worth, to ground himself in the community, and to take on a leadership role within the housing facility. Today, he has regained his mobility and is cancer-free. 

As he ages, and after experiencing significant health challenges, one of the things that Leslie thinks about in his supportive housing is death with dignity. In supportive housing, he’s seen other residents pass away, from old age or from illness, but they’ve been surrounded by staff and friends who help them pass comfortably and with dignity, and in some cases have helped them reconnect with family before passing. Leslie said that this kind of dignity and respect isn’t available for people who pass away while living on the streets. 

Today, Leslie is an active part of his community. He goes to garage sales and community events, and sells his painting, rattles and drums at craft sales in the area. He wants to continue staying in supportive housing and building the connections he has made with staff, other residents, and with his family.

Steven

Years ago, Steven was working in Halifax for the federal government. He had a family and a job, but he was also living with undiagnosed and untreated schizophrenia and depression. When he started to struggle, he lost his job, and things progressively fell apart. For years afterward, Steven was homeless and worked as a general labourer on construction sites across Canada, including in Edmonton.

Steven said it was particularly difficult to be homeless in Edmonton. He got into trouble with police for loitering in transit shelters to stay warm, and once got gangrene from untreated frostbite. Throughout all of this, Steven’s schizophrenia went undiagnosed, making it difficult for him to access the services he would need to get on his feet.

Eventually, the police who picked Steven up for loitering asked for a psychiatric evaluation, at which point he received a diagnosis and was placed in a medical facility, where he received treatment for a year and a half.

Steven was then referred to a supportive housing facility focused on individuals living with schizophrenia. Steven described supportive housing as “a stable, predictable environment,” which has been important for his mental well-being over the past 4 years. The community provides him with a good balance between socialization and privacy — he can go to his apartment when he feels overwhelmed or spend time with other residents in the common areas when he wants the company.

Steven likes the concerts and events that the staff sometimes host in the building for residents and the surrounding community, but other than that he doesn’t like to go out very much. He told us he doesn’t like to draw attention to himself. Sometimes he likes to go for walks or even occasionally make interesting purchases at Value Village.

For the future, Steven is hoping to stay in supportive housing. The help he receives in supportive housing, like medication management, assistance in managing his finances, and social support is important to him, and to maintaining a good quality of life.

When asked what he would like people outside of supportive housing to know about his experience, Steven said that while he knows his life story and day-to-day life might not be the same as a typical person, he feels safe and comfortable after many years of struggle, and is happy where he is.

One Community Together

For More Information

Email supportivehousing@edmonton.ca

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