'For them to have hope': Regina's emergency shelter set to open its doors
Regina’s new emergency shelter is set to open its doors.
The Gathering Place’s New Beginnings Centre is located in the former YMCA building downtown. Already, the 40 beds are fully booked with a waiting list.
It has been a tough winter for Regina’s unhoused. Jennifer Inkster slept in bank ATM lobbies until arrested.
“I was just trying to find somewhere warm to sleep,” she said.
Others slept on the steps of an abandoned house or were put up in a hotel by social services.
Now, there’s a better option.
Regina's new emergency shelter, in the old YMCA building downtown, is set to open its doors. (Gareth Dillistone / CTV News)
“A place for them to do whatever they would like to do,” said Erica Beaudin of Regina Treaty Status Indian Services.
Everyone gets a pod with a table, a bed, and three meals a day.
“Their private space,” Beaudin said.
It took the city until halfway through the winter to get a shelter going. Willing partners and cost were the barriers.
“To go in and actually have a facility like this that’s ready to go for human occupancy to stay 24/7, there’s hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Mayor Sandra Masters.
It will cost just short of $1 million to house and feed 40 individuals for the remainder of the winter. The fully booked facility opens Monday and is designed to feel like home.
“[It’s meant to] give opportunity for them to remember that feeling, for them to want that feeling and for them to have hope that they can have that feeling again,” Beaudin said.
The City of Regina doesn’t want to get caught again next winter without an emergency shelter ready to go. It’s negotiating with the federal and provincial governments for funding for a facility that will be permanent.
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