Homeless numbers growing in Edmonton's river valley
'10-year plan to end homelessness seems to be stalled out'
Outreach workers say the growing number of people living in Edmonton's river valley shows the need for more affordable housing.
- Mayor demands action as social housing crisis looms
- Homeless camp numbers continue to grow in Dawson Park near Riverdale
- Edmonton plan to end homelessness hits bumps
"The 10-year plan to end homelessness seems to be stalled out," said Boyle Street worker Robert Tate. "There's simply nowhere to put our people.
Tate estimates about 150 people are living in makeshift camps in the river valley this year. There were about 100 people last year.
Rod Miller, 37, lives in one camp hidden among the trees. He has serious health issues and struggles with drug addiction.
"Downtown is a lion's den," he said. "When I get out, I don't want to be down there. I'd rather be in a treatment centre."
But there's a waiting list for treatment, as there is for affordable housing.
In six years since the 10-year plan to end homelessness was created, the province has spent close to $170 million on affordable housing units for more than 4,000 people.
About 2,000 people remain without homes, according to the most recent numbers.
With files from Gareth Hampshire