Tensions rise in Wetaskiwin after homeless shelter closes

The Hub in Wetaskiwin opened nine months ago to help homeless people.

The shelter had beds for 60 people a night and provided services to hundreds more.

But the city south of Edmonton forced the facility to close on Aug. 9 after receiving complaints from business owners and citizens.

“As time went on, we were seeing a big increase in the number of people downtown,” said Mayor Tyler Gandam.

“And that became an issue when people are being accosted, there were assaults happening downtown, open drug use, open alcohol use.”

However, advocates for the poor claim the reports of crime are overblown.

And blame anti-Indigenous racism for the problems.

Video Journalist / Edmonton

Chris Stewart has been in the media for 20 years. He has worked at CBC, Global and CTV as a news camera operator and editor. Chris joined APTN in 2012 in the Saskatoon Bureau and moved to APTN Edmonton bureau in 2015 as a Videojournalist.