Tomorrow at a Special Meeting City Council will discuss STCs request to extend the lease for the Emergency Wellness Center located on 1st Ave North.
A lease extension on what was introduced as a “temporary” facility will be hard to accept for many downtown who understood that the facility would cease operations this Spring. Over the last 10 years, area businesses and their employees have expressed legitimate concern over the concentration of shelter facilities in our downtown and the impact these facilities have on area properties, people who frequent downtown, and public perceptions of downtown safety. Right now, businesses are reeling from the economic impact of the pandemic and working hard to entice their employees and customers back downtown.
While it may be a setback, it is an opportunity for the community and STC to identify a more suitable location, outside the downtown core, that better meets the needs of people who use shelter services and offers both indoor and outdoor spaces that promote their safety, well-being and dignity.