REGINA -- The YWCA is preparing to break ground at its new Centre for Women and Families.

The centre is the YWCA’s answer to a variety of pressures in the community over the past several years.

“It’s about keeping families together. It’s about deinstitutionalizing our responses to poverty and violence, and building a concept of what community looks like and how it can really be a factor in supporting marginalized and vulnerable women and families in our community,” said Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, YWCA CEO.

Each year the YWCA turns away close to three thousand women and children from their shelter system, and this centre aims to cut down those numbers over time.

The centre is going to take a more innovative approach when it comes to serving women experiencing homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault.

“If we can prevent the crisis then we prevent families from splitting up, we prevent children from going in to the system, we prevent women from having to access shelter services, so if we can do that then the end result would be that hopefully we can start shutting down some of our shelter beds,” she said.

The new facility will be located in the Cathedral area, on a piece of land gifted from the City of Regina.

Partner organizations Regina Mobile Crisis, the Regina Sexual Assault Centre and All Nations Hope Network will also operate out of the facility to help increase accessibility.

It will feature outdoor green space and an all-season sweat lodge and ceremony site.

“I think this is an incredible example of reconciliation and what reconciliation in action looks like,” said Coomber-Bendtsen.

Coomber-Bendtsen said the project is ready and awaiting confirmation for funding from the provincial and federal governments to start building on the plot of land donated by the city.

“This is the time now for us to build a healthy, sustainable and supportive community.”

The federal government is reviewing the application, while the province is working to gather information on its status.

“We’re very hopeful and looking forward to our partners coming to the table so that we can put the shovel in the ground,” said Coomber-Bendtsen.