In most major cities, issues of homelessness and poverty tend to be concentrated in a small number of neighbourhoods. Edmonton is no exception, with many marginalized people living in the inner city. Supports and services are located nearby in the same areas for people who want and need them.
Historically, this concentration of marginalized people along with supports and services have heightened tensions between different groups. Businesses struggle to address cleanliness and loitering. Neighbourhood residents are concerned about disorder, criminal activity and personal safety. Social agencies feel that they and the people they serve are unwanted in the community, further marginalizing them.
Although there is tension, these neighbourhoods have lots happening, assets to build on and a strong sense of community. There are neighbourhood revitalization plans, committed and effective social agencies, dedicated residents who genuinely care about their neighbourhoods and others working to build community. However, people are worried about how all the efforts add up and the combined impact on community.