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'It was eye-opening': Community reflects on homelessness crisis 1 year after Camp Hope dissolved


Over 100 people called Camp Hope in Regina’s Core Community Park, ‘Home’ for more than a month in fall of 2021.

Alysia Johnson of Rally Around Homelessness reflected on the year since the tent city was taken down.

“It was eye-opening for the community,” she said. “The community is more organized and passionate today and we really are willing to stick our necks out and come to the table.”

At a hot stove session at the Regina Public Library Thursday afternoon, community members and advocates joined together to mark the one-year anniversary. Stories from the days of the camp, as well as questions about ongoing progress were shared.

“In my mind, I prepared for seven or eight people,” said Johnson. “To see a room full people, with great questions, comments, and a high-level of engagement was really inspiring to me.”

Marc Spooner moderated the event. He said it’s important to look back on the events of a year ago so we can move forward.

“As a community, we allowed the need for a camp where homeless people had nowhere else to go but a park in a tent,” said Spooner. “That’s a real failure.”

Spooner wanted to be a part of the solution, no matter the cost.

“[The camp] was a real wake-up call to the community,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to me what part of my taxes are paying for it, I want to get together and do what is right.”

On Wednesday, the City of Regina announced new federal funding for rapid housing initiatives. Pending approval for their proposal, new units could be available in late 2024.

“In the last year, there were 333 affordable housing units added. That’s a huge improvement,” said Mayor Sandra Masters. “We’re making progress on affordable housing and clearly, work needs to continue.”

However, given all the work by advocates this past year, Johnson said there is still a long way to go.

“I knew the day the camp shut down, the work was just starting,” she said. “Today, I’m just thinking about how we as a community learn, not forget and how do we keep the conversations going that are important and worth having in order to save lives.”

Up next in her efforts, is the public city budget discussions. Johnson said she will be in attendance with numerous other advocates to pitch their solution to end the growing crisis.

“We need to rationalize why solving homelessness in our community is the right thing to do,” she said. “We have all the heart and the hard workers here that are ready to step up.” Top Stories

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