A team of three community groups guided by expert consultants are going to try to end homelessness in Regina.
“I’m pleased to see some concrete action, I’m not saying there wasn’t any concrete action before, but now we are down to the point where we invest as a city $60,000 for a consultant to devise a program, an action plan, so we’re pleased to see it,” Mayor Michael Fougere said.
The City of Regina has matched a $60,000 contribution from the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy.
The Plan to End Homelessness in Regina is expected to be completed in September, with a first draft done by the end of June. A community summit is expected to take place in March with further community involvement projects leading up to the creation of the first draft.
The plan aims to change the way homelessness is tackled in Regina, with an increased focus on prevention and housing-first solutions.
“A housing first is one of the only evidence-based interventions that has overwhelming proof that it helps ends homelessness” commented Alina Turner, the Principal of Turner Strategies.
Turner Strategies is one of three consultants brought in to advise on the creation of the plan. The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, and A Way Home Canada were also selected for the project.
One of the key points highlighted by each of the consultants was a need to focus on indigenous homelessness. Despite the focus on the issue, some felt there wasn’t enough representation at the leadership level.
Of the original 15 organizations involved in a leadership role, five are indigenous.
“We are the ones that can help our people,” Delora Parisien, the Executive Director of Eagle Heart Centre, remarked. “We know what’s going to work, what’s not going to work, and it’s very challenging to hear other people say this is what we think is going to work.”
Parisien pledged to provide her insight to the committee, and she’s not alone. White Bear First Nation Chief, Nathan Pasap added his name to the list. He also said he would speak to other Chief’s in the Southern part of the Province to get them involved as well.”
editor’s note: an earlier version of this story erroneously stated that there were 20 organizations involved in a leadership role and that just two were indigenous.