YWCA announces $60 million entre for Women and Families

The YWCA is getting a new $60 million facility.

The ‘Centre for Women and Families’ was announced in Regina on Tuesday. The centre is meant to improve support for women and families fleeing domestic violence by providing them access to services, including 68 transitional housing units, 40 shelter beds, drop-in services, and pre-crisis support.

YWCA CEO Mellisa Coomber-Bendtsen said that the new building would allow them and their partner organizations to be more efficient and sustainable while also reducing their operating costs.

“It also means that we are able to work with women and families from a trauma-informed place, being able to do the work that we currently do, but having the right facilities to do that, and so space wears folks feel comfortable, where they can access services under one roof, where we can be able to serve them in a more holistic way.”

The federal government is contributing about $33.9 million towards the project, with the provincial government providing $1 million. The City of Regina has provided land valued at $2 million.

The YWCA has raised $14 million for the project with the hopes of raising another $6 million during construction.

For Coomber-Bendtsen and her team, the building will deliver many improvements, including making women and families feel more comfortable.

“This new building will not be an institution and is built specifically not to have an institutional feel, and that is so vitally important when we are working with women and children who have historical traumas,” she said. “The new building is one that is like a home. We know that when women feel that they are part of a community and a community that’s thriving and there is a safe home-like space, the likelihood that they will have an opportunity to heal is much higher.”

She adds that another big difference will be additional affordable housing beds and more space for them to help the community.

The 85,000-square-foot building will operate with a trauma-informed approach and wrap-around services that provide crisis and preventative support. The building will also feature multi-purpose community spaces, access to drop-in supports and essential needs, communal kitchens, and indoor and outdoor play areas. The building will also include a healing and ceremony lodge,

Construction is set to take two years, with the new centre expected to be opened in the fall of 2024.

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