Following criticism from Airdrie residents, the city revised its plan for temporary shelters for the most vulnerable.
Previously, it was announced that the facility would only be operating for several hours seven days a week.
With the Library previously being open around the clock, Airdrie's community went to work assisting those in need. Residents helped by dropping off food and other essential supplies to assist those staying in the facility. But the community's strength went beyond the walls of the library.
One individual found her motor home without heat as the temperature dropped, which left her and her pets using the library for warmth.
Residents immediately banded together to help out, with mechanics working on getting her motor home heated. Another individual offered a temporary home to stay warm for her and her pets as the community got her motor home warm and back on the road.
"I couldn’t have her out in the cold or the library. I have a bed. I didn’t do it for recognition, of course," said one Airdrie resident who wished to remain anonymous when asked about bringing the community together to help.
In its last City Council meeting of 2023, the council discussed the next steps forward in responding to homelessness in Airdrie.
As part of its response, the city has commissioned a homelessness study in the city to have a more comprehensive understanding of, 'the vulnerable and unsheltered population in the community and options for moving forward.'
However, in its more immediate response, the city added that last month they had met with 15 community stakeholders that represent 10 community social serving organizations to discuss and develop policies around extreme cold weather events.
"While the short-term action just described steps towards helping to protect the health and safety of unsheltered individuals, it does not solve the issue of homelessness in Airdrie," city officials previously stated.
Currently, Airdrie does not have a 24-hour emergency shelter, such as the ones that provide services to the unhoused and vulnerable populations in Calgary.
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