Regina's All Nations Hope Network to expand frontline services with new building
All Nations Hope Network (ANHN) will soon be able to expand the services offered through its Awasiw program.
Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) transferred ownership of its building at 2735 5th Ave. to the organization on Wednesday.
The Awasiw program, operated by ANHN, is a drop-in centre for those at-risk or experiencing homelessness. The program offers support and services to vulnerable Indigenous people.
The director of the ANHN said the program services about 400 people per night, but with the current set up of the building and pandemic guidelines, it can only serve a few people at a time.
The organization plans to renovate the main floor to allow more space.
“So they can come in and maybe have a seat, or a coffee or a meal and access any services or referrals they may be getting,” Lana Holinaty, director of operations for the ANHN, said.
Holinaty added the timing of the ownership transfer was good because she is expecting to see an increase of people using the program as the temperatures drop.
“There’s so many homeless people out there right now and we are hoping to address at least being able to keep some of them warm,” she said.
Lori Carr, Minister of Social Services, said this transfer allows ANHN the freedom to renovate and make changes to the building in order to run its programs better.
“Indigenous led organizations for Indigenous people is an important piece for those individuals that need those services so that they feel welcomed and invited into buildings like this so that they can be supported in the way that they need to be supported,” Carr said.
The Awasiw program currently runs from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
All Nations Hope plans to apply for some funding to extend the hours to run 24-7.
ANHN has been providing frontline services to Indigenous people for more than 20 years. The organization offers regular testing services and access to Elders, traditions medicine, food and naloxone.