The Emergency Wellness Centre was opened on December 15, 2021. Located at 145 First Avenue North it was home to 75 individuals. Every night the EWC was filled to capacity, offering food, shelter, and health programs to help relatives restart their lives.
In the summer of 2022, plans to expand to 106 beds in a new facility were started with the provincial government. In October 2022, the Ministry of Social Services purchased the current location for 5 million dollars and leased it to the Saskatoon Tribal Council.
Of the 106 beds, seventy-five come from the old EWC and 31 new beds are being moved by the government following the closure of the Lighthouse.
STC provides holistic support and services to meet cultural, mental health, addictions, and supporting housing needs, at a cost of $536,000 through April 30, 2023.
“Homelessness is not a definition and homelessness has many faces. Those faces are of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and or heritage.” STC Tribal Chief Mark Arcand said. “Changing the homeless landscape is up to everyone! Everyone has to buy in and believe in a better community or things will never change.”
In the partnership, STC will be responsible for ongoing maintenance and day-to-day operations of the building. Saskatchewan Housing Corporation will be responsible for any capital replacements such as roof or heating systems.
The transition to the new facility began in November 2022 with plans for a second phase which will include an expansion of the location.