Boyle Street Community Services Set to Vacate Current Building, Seeks Government Funds for New Centre


Boyle Street Community Services (BSCS), the prominent social support organization, has announced it will vacate its existing premises by September 30. The organization’s lease with the building owners has run its course and it no longer proves economically feasible to maintain its presence at this specific location. The objective at present is to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of various programs and services from October 1 onwards.

BSCS is creating a brand-new facility – the King Thunderbird Centre, situated merely a few streets away from their existing center. However, the anticipated completion of this project is slated for fall 2024. The means for this new venture have been partially sourced through the sale of the current building to the Oilers Entertainment Group, the new leaseholder.

Despite facing several obstacles including community resistance and permit-related issues, the construction of King Thunderbird Centre is progressing. While BSCS had the choice to remain at the current location, they decided against it, pointing to financial challenges as the main deterrent.

The organization has successfully raised 80% of the necessary funds for the King Thunderbird Centre’s construction through corporations and individuals. BSCS is urging all branches of government to contribute the remaining $5 million needed. It is also actively exploring options for a temporary home for the multiple programs currently offered at its downtown location.

The existing building serves as a hub for over 30 different programs and services, and BSCS plans to systematically review each one to ensure the related operational necessities are met – be it providing meals and warm clothes or guaranteeing safety provisions. If a suitable interim location is not found, BSCS will rely on the assistance of other city organizations to keep the services running, with some contingency funds available from the government.

The greatest task now is to effectively communicate the location changes for the offered services to the clients. This place has been a sanctuary for many, and despite its limitations, it symbolizes a safe space where they feel at home.

In response to the news, Edmonton’s mayor, Amarjeet Sohi, expressed his disappointment, recognizing the upcoming closure will severely impact the city’s most vulnerable demographic. Despite budgeting difficulties, the city is exploring various strategies, including identifying potential locations and streamlining the permit process to help. Sohi also stressed the need for provincial and federal government contributions toward the King Thunderbird Centre project, advocating for their responsibility in socio-economic funding.

The Oilers Entertainment Group extended their support to BSCS, even offering to lengthen the organization’s lease at the previously agreed rate. They maintain their commitment to facilitate the transition and relocation process for Boyle Street effectively.


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