Steady growth of Regina tent community draws concern from mayor
Regina’s mayor has given agencies roughly two weeks to find housing for residents of a tent community in Pepsi Park before the city starts looking at putting an end to the camp.
Conditions have gotten colder for the two dozen homeless people living in tents in Pepsi Park.
“The city doesn’t support or endorse a tent city on public property. We do however have an obligation to keep people safe, both those in the encampment as well as the surrounding neighbourhoods,” Sandra Masters said.
Contributing factors to homelessness are complicated and one tent community resident told CTV News some at the camp have turned to drugs to dull the pain in their lives. An emergency task force has been deployed to the scene comprised of social workers, police and fire.
On Wednesday city council approved a partnership with the federal government to build an $8 million supportive housing complex for 29 people experiencing homelessness. However, it won’t be ready for this winter.
Two government-funded buildings intended for supportive living sit vacant including one in south Regina and another on Fifth Avenue due to a lack of a social agency to operate them.
So far, the government has relocated nine people from the camp to hotels or shelters and 17 residents have opted not to leave.
“If people either have a mental health, addictions issue, they’re suffering intergenerational trauma or have certain kinds of disabilities, oftentimes that may translate into a distrust of service providers,” Louise Michaud, assistant deputy minister of Social Services said.
Social Services said it is working to build trust with community members before time runs out.