LETHBRIDGE, AB – A Christian non-profit organization is working hard to set up shop in Lethbridge.

Officials with the Mustard Seed came before City’s Council’s Community Issues Committee Monday (Dec. 7) with plans to expand its services here to provide affordable housing and a sober shelter with 24-7 access.

The Mustard Seed already operates similar type facilities in places like Medicine Hat, Red Deer and Calgary.

“We don’t want to bring a short-term solution to the City of Lethbridge. We want to bring long-term solutions where people feel cared for and receive the respect and dignity they deserve,” Byron Bradley.

The organization’s Managing Director, Byron Bradley told Council that the Mustard Seed wants to be here to help the community’s most vulnerable.

“This is a conventional multi-family building,” said Bradley. “This will not be transitional in nature. There is that thought right now (in Lethbridge) that this current sort of housing would be a drop-in centre. It would not be a drop-in centre. It would be conventional multi-housing. We’re in the process of securing that location.”

That site is said to be the Ramada Hotel along Mayor Magrath Drive. There is an online petition on Change.org asking residents to vote no to re-zoning that property for this proposed supportive housing facility. The petition states “to be clear, this petition is NOT about stopping additional supportive housing options for vulnerable populations. What it IS about is showcasing why the Ramada Hotel and Chinook Motel property is a poor location.”

The Mustard Seed meanwhile plans to employ 21 locals right off the bat to start working as part of their Lethbridge operation with more hires to come on line in the months ahead.

Bradley says one thing that’s very important to them is building relationships with their neighbours while enforcing a no-loitering policy at all of their properties.

He also told Councillors Monday afternoon that the Mustard Seed is merging with the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen as of April next year.

He says the two coming together makes it easier to serve more people in-need.