Saskatchewan’s recent blast of winter weather is taking a toll on the residents and organizers of Camp Hope (formerly known as Camp Marjorie) in Regina.
It has them counting down the days until a planned move indoors can be completed.
“When we walked through camp this morning, we noticed a lot just didn’t survive the weather we’re having right now,” said organizer and Carmichael Outreach board chair, Alysia Johnson.
“Maintaining the integrity of the structure of the tents — the wind really does a number on them. You get lots of rips and lots of tears.”
Johnson says her main concern with the inclement weather, aside from the obvious danger of the cold, is that some residents who may leave camp for a night to stay in a hotel or other indoor shelter might come back to find the place they’ve made their home is gone.
“It definitely is our last push,” she said, thanking the community of local non-profits and volunteers who have come together to help operate the camp thus far.
“We’re trying to remain hopeful. We’re trying to buy as much time as we possibly can.”
After multiple requests in recent weeks, the City of Regina confirmed Monday that it had signed a lease to secure a temporary indoor location for the camp.
The specific location, as well as a date at which the building will be move-in ready, are yet to be disclosed.
“The timeline is ever-shrinking,” Regina Mayor Sandra Masters said Wednesday.
“I can tell you we have signed a lease. We do have some of the operating agreements in place. And right now the last pieces of operational, everything from security to WIFI and telephone, dividers up, the actual organization to make sure things are safe, we’re really close.”
“It would be lovely to have a couple extra tents,” she said of what could help Camp Hope make it through that last push.
“Especially as people are at the end of their hotel stays, that would be great for them to come back to something and not to an empty spot.”
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