As temperatures drop, Regina to fund warming bus and shelter

Regina’s most vulnerable citizens facing the harsh prairie winter received a boost as the City Council approved an additional $100,000 in funding for the Cold Weather Strategy. This initiative aims to establish a warming space promptly to aid those experiencing houselessness during extreme weather conditions.

In a collaborative effort with Carmichael Outreach, the City plans to leverage an additional $200,000 grant from the Ministry of Social Services to implement a one-time grant for a winter warming space. The strategic allocation of funds is designed to ensure swift action in providing a safe haven for vulnerable community members.

As part of the immediate response to the pressing needs of the most vulnerable, the City, in partnership with the Downtown Regina Community Support Team, will introduce a warming bus. The bus will be stationed in front of Carmichael Outreach later this week, coinciding with the anticipated drop in temperatures. This temporary measure will remain operational until the indoor warming space is ready for transition. Specific details regarding the bus’s operating hours will be communicated in the coming days.

Mayor Sandra Masters expressed gratitude for the collaboration with the Province of Saskatchewan in supporting an additional warming space for the community.

“We are committed to continually improving access and services for residents during cold weather events,” Masters said in a media release.   

The collaborative effort extends beyond municipal borders, with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services contributing a substantial $200,000 grant to bolster the City of Regina’s Cold Weather Strategy. Social Services Minister Gene Makowsky underscored the collaborative approach, expressing pleasure in supporting the initiative.

“Through this collaboration, more vulnerable people in Regina will have access this winter to supports needed to assist them on their path to achieving stability and stable housing,” Makowsky said in the release.

The Cold Weather Strategy, an integral part of Regina’s community support framework, focuses on coordinating efforts among human service sectors and community-based organizations. This ensures that unsheltered individuals and other vulnerable populations have access to warming spaces and services during the winter months. The strategy recognizes the risks posed by extreme weather conditions, including severe cold and heat-related illnesses, and aims to mitigate these risks for residents experiencing houselessness.

Carmichael Outreach, a long-standing community partner, will play a crucial role in the initiative. The organization’s extended hours, made possible by the funding from the City of Regina and the Ministry of Social Services, will facilitate the operation of a 50-80 person overnight warming space. This space, anticipated to be operational by mid-January, will provide a safe environment for community members to seek refuge from extreme weather conditions.

The City of Regina reaffirms its commitment to the safety of all residents and emphasizes ongoing collaboration with the community and various levels of government to address the needs of the most vulnerable. Information on warming spaces and services across the city is readily available on, enabling residents to access essential support during challenging weather conditions.

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