Council asks admin to look again for permanent emergency shelter site

Three years, 35 properties.

Now? Another go-round may well be necessary.

Prior to Wednesday’s Regina City Council meeting, City of Regina staff recommended a permanent emergency shelter location at 1420 Albert St., sold with 1440 Albert St. City manager Niki Anderson called it “as good as it is going to get.”

However, after more than seven hours of debate, a majority of Regina city councillors decided to keep looking. The federal and provincial governments were set to cover 80 per cent of the $7.5 million deal to purchase and renovate the property into a 55-bed shelter.

The shelter would replace the temporary one at the Nest Health Centre, whose lease expires in Summer 2025.

The decision to pass on the Albert Street location, backed by Ward 2 Coun. Bob Hawkins, Ward 4 Coun. Lori Bresciani, Ward 5 Coun. John Findura, Ward 9 Coun. Jason Mancinelli, Ward 10 Coun. Landon Mohl, and Mayor Sandra Masters, drew sharp criticism. Ward 3 Coun. Andrew Stevens, whose ward covers the proposed site, expressed frustration with the council’s decision.

The directive extends the search for a permanent low-barrier shelter, currently at the Nest under Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services. Bresciani opposed the location, citing concerns about placing vulnerable individuals on a busy arterial street. Public delegations also worried about negative impacts on local businesses and residents. City manager Niki Anderson emphasized the difficulty of finding a universally accepted site.

A report on the ongoing search is expected by Oct. 9, ahead of the civic election.

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