Future uncertain for Regina’s emergency shelter

The lease is up on the temporary winter shelter in Regina’s warehouse district with no decision on its future.

The shelter was established last November to provide winter housing for occupants of Camp Hope and residents say it has been a big help.

“The people are really good. They have great supports, great workers that kind of just help people get back on their feet pretty much,” said shelter resident Tony Cyr.

The city, province and First Nations were all involved in the relocation. The NDP said they now feel a sense of urgency.

“Now the fate of the shelter that replaced Camp Hope here in Pepsi Park is up in the air in no small part because this government has failed to put into place a housing strategy that works,” said NDP MLA Meara Conway.

The government said it’s still working on a plan.

“Now we’re actively working with them on a long term plan to try and figure out how we can resolve some of the issues moving forward,” said Lori Carr, minister of social services.

The group that last fall helped care for the houseless in Pepsi Park said the issue is broader than just housing.

“We still need that wrap around support. Along with housing we need food security, furnishing, mental health and addiction issues so we’re still in the same boat. It’s just we moved camp inside and now we’re moving it back to where? You know, we’re stuck in that rut,” said Shylo Stevenson of Warriors of Hope.

Community concern has also been evident as students from Luther High School came to the Heritage neighborhood to learn.

“I learned a lot about the current struggles that are going on here that I just never really thought about before,” said Luther student Sheena Xu.

Their teachers also took home lessons about those who are houseless.

“They have needs, desires, dreams, wishes. They’re created by God. They’re special themselves. We need to learn that,” said Mark Becker, a teacher at Luther.

Organizations trying to help want to make sure shelter residents aren’t turned back out onto the streets. They’re hoping for word soon on what resources will be made available.

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