Saskatoon searching for emergency shelter spaces after provincial funding announcement

More details were given about the two emergency shelters that will be located in Regina and Saskatoon. File / Global News

The city of Saskatoon gave some more details on the two new emergency shelters that are to be located in Saskatoon after the province announced funding Friday.

An administration report to the governance and priorities committee said these complex needs emergency shelters will provide a medically supervised and secure place for people to go to for up to 24 hours.

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Within the announcement from the province, $19 million was allocated to fund these shelters, and the city said it was requested by the provincial government to take the lead on identifying potential sites for these shelters.

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The report said each shelter would need to house roughly 30 people.

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It added that permanent locations would be ideal, but the city would consider temporary locations as well.

City administration said it has been working to identify possible sites since the Friday announcement, with no developments so far, but a list of criteria was given:

  • room for approximately 30 beds each
  • beds in an open shelter-type hall (with movable wall systems or partitions)
  • some private rooms (accessed internally)
  • an area suitable for office space for site staff
  • showers, bathrooms, kitchen
  • internal and external gathering spaces (amenity spaces) available on site be considered
  • proximity to other services should be considered
  • zoned appropriately if possible, or applicable for consideration under the City’s Emergency Residential Shelter zoning provisions
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The report noted that the final decision to proceed with a site will sit with the province.

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Public information sessions will be conducted if a site is selected, regardless of whether rezoning is needed or not and representatives from the province will be asked to attend all information sessions to address questions about the operation of the sites.

City administration said it is currently working on a communication plan to keep the public informed as the city works through the next steps.

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