Regina’s Camp Hope, formerly known as Camp Marjorie, has been home to dozens of homeless people since the beginning of October, and now that winter conditions have arrived, residents of the camp have the option of going inside.
An emergency shelter on Hamilton Street in the city’s Warehouse district will become an additional space to seek shelter for Camp Hope residents and others facing housing insecurity, as the city announced Friday that it was able to secure a six month lease for the facility.
Regina Treaty Status Indian Services (RTSIS) will lead the transition and operate the emergency center. Residents began packing on Friday and the transition from the camp to the new facility is expected to be completed by Monday morning.
The camp volunteers, who have collectively put in thousands of hours to ensure the camp runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible, had another reason to celebrate Saturday night as they took time to celebrate a child from 12 years that he was once a resident in the camp with his dad.
Over the weekend, Alijah Kay was given a second chance to celebrate her special day.
Camp Hope will move into the Warehouse District building on Monday
Camp volunteers say Alijah was found at the camp on October 6, around his birthday and around the time the camp was formed, after he and his father were evicted due to a series of unfortunate circumstances.
“It was quite heartbreaking because children are supposed to have great memories on their birthday, and for Alijah and her father, that was not the case,” said Chasity Delorme, who led the surprise birthday party.
Delorme said that everything for the party was donated, adding that Alijah and her father now have a stable living situation and are on their way to finding permanent housing, all thanks to the immediate support they received from community members.
“When we fight homelessness or homelessness, as a community, these situations definitely don’t have to be this way,” he said.
“Children should never be affected by homelessness and unfortunately the reality is that unless funding situations change, policies change … this will be an ongoing problem,” Delorme said.
City of Regina Responds to Camp Hope Relocation
Alijah said that he is very grateful to everyone who helped organize the event and enjoyed the surprise. He added that he will remember the surprise for years to come.
In terms of current residents in the camp, organizer Shylo Stevenson says that even though the new facility, which was secured by the city, will only be able to house 40 of the more than 100 people who have been using the camp recently, it still en A step in the right direction.
“We accept the 40 beds. That’s 40 (more) beds than we ever had, ”Stevenson said.
“So, there are still other agencies in Regina…. It’s not like starting from scratch with new resources, those resources are just being added. “
Stevenson also says there are mixed feelings about the new shelter among residents.
“There are some who are excited and can’t wait to go. There are also on the other side of the coin, some who do not want to go, “he said.
“It is a new area. There are previous (negative) encounters with shelters ”.
Stevenson, the communications officer for Regina Needle Recovery and Community Support, said that while his team will take a step back when it comes to the new facilities, they will still be available to help in other ways when it comes to helping people facing addiction, homelessness, poverty and food shortages.
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