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Saskatoon Wellness Centre transition to Fairhaven location officially underway

Saskatoon Tribal Council's Emergency Wellness Centre. Google

The transition of individuals from the 145 First Avenue North Wellness Center in Saskatoon to the Fairmont Drive location is now underway.

This is a phased transition plan which will begin by moving 25 people the new location in Fairhaven.

The new location is at 415 Fairmont Dr., a former church building, in the Fairhaven neighbourhood and will be able to house 106 people. This is a four-and-a-half-acre property, much unlike the previous location downtown.

“Homelessness remains a significant issue in Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Tribal Council is proud to partner with the province as we try to help even more community members. As a wellness centre, the Fairmont facility will use the holistic approach to services and healing of individuals we embrace as our relatives,” Tribal Chief Mark Arcand said in a previous interview with Global News.

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“Supports in health services, employment and training, mental health and addictions, life skills programs, and centered around healing as we transition our relatives to independent living that will be enhanced with outreach supports. Homelessness in the city of Saskatoon hasn’t changed, because we haven’t changed in how we address the real issues. The Wellness Centre is status blind, we support all relatives from all walks of life.”

Click to play video: 'AG report on homelessness finds lack of data'
AG report on homelessness finds lack of data

When the announcement was first made, many took to social media to express their concern about how this would impact the current community in Fairhaven.

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The organization held an open house Nov. 16-17 with hopes that by sharing the operation plans and safety measures of the new location, nearby residents would have a more positive outlook on the relocation.

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Many residents seemed supportive of Chief Arcand’s goals by cheering and clapping to his remarks to support the city’s homeless population.

The Saskatoon Police Service will be assisting with the transition and early periods of the new Wellness Centre and respond to any changes that happen in the surrounding community as this transition takes place.

We work closely with their team of staff there, and we will be putting together a response to the change in the neighborhood that could be expected,” said Superintendent Cameron McBride. “And at this point, the footprint of the facility is significantly different than what we’ve seen downtown. And so, we really don’t know for sure what effects there may be to the neighborhood. But we will be responsive.

“The Saskatoon Tribal Council Wellness Centre is providing supports and services to some of Saskatoon’s most vulnerable individuals and there’s definitely a need for that type of work. We at the Saskatoon Police Service hope that this is a very good thing for the individuals who will be seeking shelter and supports there.”

The building of the old Wellness Centre on First Avenue will be repurposed as a warming center as part of a cold weather strategy.

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This transition period is expected to be completed by Dec. 3.

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon Tribal Council hosts open house for new wellness centre'
Saskatoon Tribal Council hosts open house for new wellness centre

with files from Kabilan Moulitharan

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