On Tuesday morning, a resident staying at Camp Marjorie was found unconscious by volunteer staff, and was not able to be resuscitated, in what is being called a fatal overdose.
“This could have all been prevented,” said Regina Needle Recovery Community Support Executive Director, Nicole Neisner.
She says the new Saskatchewan Income Support program implemented by the Saskatchewan Government, makes collecting rent a lot harder than in the past.
Neisner, who is also a landlord says, “We are more than happy to rent to people on social assistance, but at the end of the day we need to get paid and that’s not happening. If they could just change it so that the landlord gets the cheque in the mail like it was,” she said.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said in a speech on Monday that the government is pursuing other opportunities to addictions treatment and detox spaces in the province, and that the goal is to add 150 treatment spaces over the next three years.
“Officials have been visiting Camp Marjorie on a frequent basis to provide government services that folks there may ultimately qualify for. We have services and housing to offer, we have social services and staff that are willing to answer any questions that they might have,” he added in a speech this afternoon.
Neisner says the time for the government to act is now though.
“I’ve been deeply impacted by overdose in my life and it never gets any easier and we just need more wraparound support out there for our community members. We need an indoor space, at the end of the day we need the province and the city to step up and give us somewhere to move these people,” she said.