Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Keep the Sunalta Shelter Open!.

I've talked about sending emails/letters to my MP/MLA before, but tonight I did it on behalf of the Sunalta Shelter.

April 16 2003

Right Honorable Ralph Klein

I am very concerned about the impending closure of the Sunalta Shelter here in Calgary. The shelter was opened in 2002 to provided 150 badly needed beds for the homeless in Calgary. 50% of the cost has been provided by private donors via The Mustard Seed, and the other 50% through the Alberta Government. But now my government is backing out of the deal and I would appreciate having some questions answered.

Where will the 150 people per night currently served by the Sunalta Shelter go? I would like a list of agencies, with contact information, willing and able to serve those who now use the Sunalta Shelter. This information should be at hand, or else how could this decision have been reached? I assume those who decided to pull Sunalta's funding have a better plan in place for May 1 when the shelter closes. Please provide the details of this plan.

As well as the details of the plan to shelter 150 people per night, I'd like to see the cost benefit analysis that was done for this decision. Partnering with Calgarians, who are willing to help their neighbors, provided the government with great value for money. We've picked up 50% of the cost of this project by supporting the Mustard Seed. I would like to see proof that the Alberta government can provide better value to taxpayers than through the Sunalta Shelter. Was a cost benefit analysis done? If so by who? What parameters were used?

If the information I've requested is not available, may I suggest that the decision to cut funding to the Sunalta Shelter has not been properly considered and should be reversed until such time as a more practical and efficient plan to meet the needs of Calgary's homeless can be put in place?


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