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Short-term detox beds added at Bruno's Place in Yorkton

Bruno's Place is a 10-bed emergency shelter located in the Prairie Harvest Community Centre.
Mental Health and Addictions Minister Everett Hindley at a press conference at Bruno's Place in Yorkton.

YORKTON - Moving forward more than 50 per cent of the current beds at Bruno’s Place in Yorkton are being repurposed.

Bruno's Place is a 10-bed emergency shelter located in the Prairie Harvest Community Centre. The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and Bruno's Place have converted six of these shelter beds to short-term detox spaces.

The converted beds are part of government's commitment to increase access to detox beds and services across the province and are the first detox beds to be made available in southeast Saskatchewan, explained Mental Health and Addictions Minister Everett Hindley at a press conference at the facility Monday. 

As part of the commitment, the province is providing $335,000 in annual funding to support these spaces in Yorkton.

Hindley said it is recognized addictions are devastating to individuals, family, friends and communities.

“We know these detox beds will make a big difference,” he said, adding such services can be “. . . life changing” for clients.

When asked later if the funding was a one time investment Hindley said while the $335K was allocated in the most recent provincial budget, he said he sees it as being an annual, ongoing in terms of supporting the beds.

While the move does seem to drop the number of emergency beds at the centre, Angela Chernoff, Shelter Coordinator suggested there is an overlap that exists between people experiencing homelessness and those experiencing mental health and addictions disorders.

The move to detox beds is seen as a way to enhance care for many people experiencing homelessness who also need detox services. 

Detox beds support individuals who are focusing on the management of physical withdrawal symptoms while engaging in recovery.

The detox beds will allow people to more easily access addiction treatment services, rather than potentially going to a hospital emergency department or waiting for an available space in another community.

Chernoff said having the six non-medical detox beds is an exciting step forward in addressing addiction services in the region. She added that by partnering with the Saskatchewan Health Authority Bruno's Place has been able to hire a case plan manager, and to move forward with providing client programming.

As an example, Chernoff said they have two speakers who have themselves dealt with addictions and mental health issues which has been well-received by clients and the public.

There are also computers for client use to help individuals seek employment, housing, or do banking, said Chernoff.

“We hope to do much more . . . to move forward with more programming,” she said, adding they see enhancing programming for clients as a way to support them in achieving their goals.

Chernoff also noted there are efforts under way to double beds at Bruno’s Place to 20, with discussions under way with the city and fire department on how to make the expansion meet codes.

Once approved Chernoff said a fundraising program will be undertaken, and it will take the support of community organizations and individuals to step forward with capital dollars. That said she added she is hoping the bed expansion can be achieved in the next year.

Government's recent 2023-24 Provincial Budget has invested a record $518 million in mental health and addiction supports and services, an increase of $12.4 million over last year's budget. This is the largest investment in the province's history for mental health and addiction supports.