Local organization set to bring emergency homeless shelter to Yorkton


A local group is repurposing the old Yorkton Friendship Center to create a new emergency homeless shelter.

Prairie Harvest Community Center hopes to become the new hub for the vulnerable community, to access not just shelter, but comprehensive social services.

“Homelessness in Yorkton is unknown. It’s something that you may not expect,” said Angela Chernoff, Prairie Harvest Community Center’s new project coordinator.

The facility was able to secure just over $300,000 in federal funding from a program with Metis Nation—Saskatchewan to get the ball rolling.

It will be named Bruno’s Place, a nod to a well-known community member.

“Bruno was a homeless man in Yorkton for many years, who really endeared himself to the population. He was a safe, gentle man. A kind man,” said Stefan Bymak, of the Prairie Harvest Christian Life Centre, the overarching organization for the project.

Homelessness in Yorkton is a complex issue, according to those behind the new project.

Many of Yorkton’s homeless are living from couch to couch. They may be transient, have lived a life on the road, or just don’t have the means to get their own housing.

“The social housing committee had been looking to develop a low-barrier, emergency shelter for years. Things just fell into place with this building that our organization was able to require, and we just thought, ‘hey, let’s take a shot at this,’” Bymak said.

The facility is looking to house 10 to 15 individuals and would work with the provincial and local governments for individual funding of those using the shelter.

The organization is hoping those in need of a place to stay use the facility, regardless of their personal situation.

“It is [homelessness] hidden in a lot of ways. And I think, unfortunately, a lot of people stay in situations because they have no where else to go, and providing a solution to give someone out of an unsafe environment and give them an opportunity to engage with services,” said Bymak.

The end goal of this facility is to create a hub for Yorkton’s most vulnerable — and work is being done, quickly.

The doors are expected to open by this June.

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