New program will see crime proceeds help homeless Edmontonians

Proceeds from crime on Edmonton’s city streets will soon go towards helping those who live on them.

$1.45M grant will be doled out over 3 years

$1.45 M in proceeds from crime on the streets of Edmonton is being redirected to fund a program intended to help repeat minor-crime offenders break the cycle. 1:51

Proceeds from crime on Edmonton’s city streets will soon go towards helping those who live on them.

Speaking at the Edmonton Police Headquarters on Thursday, Alberta’s solicitor general announced a new plan to reroute the financial proceeds of crime to programming designed to  help Edmonton’s homeless.

According to a document released by the province, the program will “work with community partners to help vulnerable people be more independent, less likely to be victimized, and require fewer police, medical, and social interventions.”

It will target individuals who are heavy users of community, justice and medical services, looking into the causes of repeat minor offenses.

The $1.45 million dollar grant will use cash, cars and even real estate collected from criminals to cover the salaries of four police employees who will help coordinate the program.

Jonathan Denis said the crime proceeds collected by EPS will help break the cycle of crime in the city.

“I'm pleased to say we're taking money from the bad guys and using it to help prevent crime for the benefit of all Albertans, and in this particular case for those who reside in Edmonton.”

Denis said the program will also save the city money in the long run, as it will mean less dependence on social and medical services.

Taxpayers pay up to $180,000 every year for homeless people with chronic problems, said a program spokesperson on Friday.

The money will be doled out over a three year period. Police say if it is successful, it may be continued.

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