© CBC

Wetaskiwin desperately needs a solution. There’s a need for a wet shelter to keep people off the streets, out of -25 C winters, and 30 C summers, a place that allows alcohol in a safe, controlled environment.

Traditional shelters ban people from entering if they are under the influence of alcohol. It forces them into a cold, hard rehabilitation that has been proven ineffective and sets them up for failure. A wet shelter can mitigate some detrimental side effects we see with those addicted to alcohol. It can provide counselling, monitor alcohol consumption and help people beat their addictions.

A recent RCMP study suggested that police in the Wetaskiwin area spent about a quarter of their time on non-criminal public intoxication offences.