LETHBRIDGE -- The Foothills Detox Centre and Fort Macleod Housing and Community Connects projects, both of which assist homelessness prevention in the community, have been approved by the Alberta Rural Development Network.

The FCSS project will also assist families and individuals facing housing instability.

“The bulk of the funding is for a dedicated staff person to really help someone with more complicated systems and also with workshops and community engagement sessions,” said the co-ordinator of the FCSS Angie O’Connor.

The project was awarded $387 772 by the ARDN to help a community that experiences housing instability.

“It’s a game changer for many community members, (such as) families (or) individuals with unstable housing,” said O’Connor.

The other area helped in the town is Foothills Centre, operating as a social detox, which received $459, 106. That money will go towards operating five transitional beds for individuals battling addictions.

Val Campbell, Director of the Foothills Centre, explained that transitional beds were for “Homeless individuals that have gone through our detox centre and they are waiting to get into a treatment centre but have no safe environment to go to."

The Foothills Centre helped out over 120 people last year.

“Of those 122 individuals, 91 of them completed the program and either went into further treatment or safe housing,” said Campbell.

And for those believing the money in no way pertains to their needs, there is a point to be made by those who work in the trenches of Family and Community Services in Fort Macleod, Campbell added.

“There are a lot of people that are just one pay cheque away from needing some help," she said.

The community of Vulcan also received funds totalling $454 547 to help its homelessness problem with an emergency shelter, food, and connection to permeant housing.