Downtown temporary shelter to operate into next year

The City of Regina announced that the temporary emergency shelter in downtown Regina would continue in the new year.

Mayor Sandra Masters said after Wednesday’s council meeting that they expanded operations until April 2024.

“It was created as a low-barrier, temporary emergency shelter, known as ‘The Gathering Place: New Beginning,’ we’ll continue its operations throughout the winter,” she said. “Arrangements have been made with the owners of the Nest, RT/SIS and the province of Saskatchewan. All agreed to support the continued shelter operation until at least April 2024.”

Masters said the 55-bed shelter, which has been open since January of this year inside The Next Health Centre’, formally the YMCA building, is still temporary even though it will pass the year mark in operations by the end of the extension.

“We’re proud to continue to play a role alongside the provincial government community-based organization and our community as a whole to ensure the temporary shelter that provides wraparound services and support remains available to those who need it all of this winter.”

She said the shelter has played a critical role in helping residents get back on their feet and into the housing continuum.

“I’m pleased to report that in the past year and a bit, some of the individuals that originally, two years ago, entered into that temporary shelter ended up in the supportive housing. Now, some of the individuals have reached the point where they’re ready to move in. They’re ready for that next step,” Masters said. “So it is really crucial for success in helping people reach a level of independence and health.”

She noted that the City is still looking for a permanent solution, which they hope will come by the end of the year.

“Council did give the administration a directive that we were looking to find permanent, 24-hour, low-barrier shelter space by the end of this year, so we’re going to continue to work towards that goal, she added. “Right now, we’re just pleased that it’s just one thing we don’t have to worry about into April of next year, which will get us through the winter on these 50 spots that are available.”

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