Boyle Street solution seen as heartening but puzzling

Boyle Street solution seen as heartening but puzzling

Boyle Street Community Services has moved to four temporary locations while it waits for its new facility, okimaw peyesew kamik (King Thunderbird Centre), to be finished next fall.

  • Bissell East at 10527 96 Street NW will house Boyle Street's general services, such as bus pass and mail pickup, harm-reduction supplies, and the pet food bank;
  • The Mercer Warehouse at 10363 104 Street NW will be the site for Indigenous cultural support programs;
  • CO*LAB at 9641 102A Avenue NW will host a 25-person community space;
  • Trailers at the new site at 10010 107A Avenue NW will provide temporary quarters for Four Directions Financial and Hiregood.

"I am really heartened by all the teams involved stepping up … to do this," remarked co-host Troy Pavlek on Episode 235 of Speaking Municipally, Taproot's civic affairs podcast.

But the puzzle remains as to why Boyle Street found it financially unviable to extend its stay at the community centre at 10116 105 Avenue NW, even though the Oilers Entertainment Group said it could continue to lease it for $1 per month.

"It makes me wonder what exactly these conditions that are private that we're never going to hear about — how arduous could they be that it is a better idea for Boyle to fracture their services all across the city?" Pavlek asked. "What was so arduous about these lease conditions that this is the best path forward?"

Concerns remain about how well the changes will be received by those who need help.

"It's the people that Boyle Street serves that are going to pay for it," said co-host Mack Male, citing worries expressed by Jim Gurnett of the Edmonton Coalition on Housing and Homelessness.

Hear more on the Sept. 29 episode, which also tackles the Valley Line LRT audit, the Edmonton Police Commission's perception survey, and a campaign to address crime in Old Strathcona. You'll also hear about an illuminating field trip that changed Pavlek's mind about the Blatchford LRT station.

Photo: The new temporary locations for Boyle Street's services. (Boyle Street)