Ministry result

Department of Social Services transfers building to All Nations Hope Network

Members of the All Nations Hope Network say this means they can offer more services to customers in the area and in the future additional shelter space

Content of the article

Lana Holinaty says more space for All Nations Hope Network (ANHN) means more people will have a chance to eat, warm up and connect with the social service resources they desperately need as the weather is getting colder.

Advertising

Content of the article

“We probably have as many as 300 or 400 people going through these doors day and night,” said Holinaty, ANHN’s director of operations. “The space we’re working with doesn’t allow us to have more than, you know, three or four people.

On Wednesday, the Department of Social Services officially transferred ownership of the building, located at 2735 5th Avenue, from the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation to the ANHN.

CHS Minister Lori Carr said she hopes the transfer will allow ANHN to make the changes it needs to better serve its clients. And given that a disproportionate number of homeless people are indigenous, she said the ministry was seeking partnerships with indigenous-led organizations to better accommodate homeless people.

“Indigenous-led organizations for Indigenous peoples are an important part for people who need these services to make them feel welcome and invited,” Carr said.

Last year, ANHN hosted Awasiw, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week pilot program that provided a warming station for people during the Regina winter in 2020 and 2021. The program was transferred to its current location on 5th Avenue, where A Place of Hope is also running during the day. Holinaty said the services are combined and now the day and night staff operate the shelter every evening from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. and every day of the week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

She hopes the program can revert to being “24/7”, but said funding constraints have not allowed continued service.

Advertising

Content of the article

Meals are provided every day, there is advice, access to vaccinations but also access to elders and ceremonies. There are 12 suites in the building, but Holinaty said the plan is to hopefully expand their capacity.

Carr previously said there were some 700 vacant units in Regina Housing Authority units. Asked Wednesday, she did not have the number of current vacancies, but said there was an interest in transferring some units to community organizations or letting groups administer services with government-owned units.

“We actually did a request for proposal that organizations maybe offer supports that we could use these buildings for specifically, where people would have housing but they would also have supports,” Carr said.

Margaret Kisikaw Piyesis, Director of Finance and Research for ANHN, said the transfer of the building is in itself an act of reconciliation as it represents the return of land to indigenous peoples and a greater degree of self-determination.

“By owning this building, we can create a place now that will be adequate to meet the needs of the people,” said Kisikaw Piyesis.

This property means that Kisikaw Piyesis and the organization can better respond to its lack of space, as the Awasis program fills up almost every night.

And this space is necessary.

Since Camp Hope came to an end and the city opened 40 new beds for the homeless, community organizations say their limited resources are still under strain.

Advertising

Content of the article

Bettyann Cox, CEO of Carmichael Outreach, said the demand is “huge on all fronts,” and from what she’s heard, there are people setting up tents in Regina again. The unusually hot weather for the season is good luck for people unable to access shelters, but Cox said more needs to be done now to get people into housing before the cold weather hits.

“We see a lot of activity around Carmichael and I would say the other agencies are overwhelmed as well. I mean, everything is full, ”Cox said.

[email protected]

News seems to fly to us faster all the time. From COVID-19 updates to politics and crime and everything in between, it can be hard to keep pace. With that in mind, The Regina Leader-Post has created an Afternoon Headlines newsletter that can be delivered to your inbox daily to make sure you’re up to date with the most important news of the day. Click here to subscribe.

Advertising

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a vibrant but civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour of moderation before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread that you follow, or if a user that you follow comments. Visit our Community rules for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail The settings.