YORKTON - A new low barrier emergency shelter currently being established in Yorkton received a much-appreciated financial boost Friday.
Bruno’s Place, as it will be called was presented with a donation of $20,000 from the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses Local #43.
Angela Chernoff, shelter coordinator said the donation has put the fundraising effort into the range they had hoped to raise.
“Our goal was the range of $90-100,000,” she said, adding with the SUN dollars they are at $92,000.
Chernoff admitted she was worried they might not reach the goal.
“When I opened the email (from SUN), I jumped out of my chair,” she said. “One email changed everything.”
Maggie Hancock, SUN spokesperson said as a group “we wanted to give back to the community.”
By supporting the shelter they help establish a facility which can be used by anyone in need in the area, adding their members come from not just Yorkton but nearby communities too.
“This can be used for everybody,” she said.
Hancock also noted that for nurses who have worked the emergency ward they understand a place to stay is important.
“We see the need for a place like this,” she said, adding it will be good to be able to direct people to a place like Bruno’s when they need some help.
The new shelter is currently being developed at 139 Dominion Avenue in the city, to fill a need known to exist in Yorkton
In 2021, The Society for the Involvement of Good Neighbours (SIGN), along with Yorkton’s Social Housing Committee commissioned a report to assess homelessness in Yorkton.
The report was completed in June of 2021, and reached the following conclusions in the executive summary: “The data provided evidence that the hard-to-house and homelessness issue in Yorkton is worsening, and a solution is needed to correct the path.”
One recommendation of the report reads: “input emergency shelter options that are all-inclusive”, “prioritize supports addressing mental health”, “address the largest barriers of homelessness” and “foster community partnerships that provide supports for those at risk of homelessness,” noted a fundraising letter circulated regarding the project.
In October of 2021, Prairie Harvest Employment Program connected with Yorkton’s Social Housing Committee and began working on a plan to develop the low barrier emergency shelter.
The living quarters for the temporary shelter are under construction now, and it is hoped they will be open for use in July.
The shelter area will have 10 to 15 beds, and will be open to anyone needing a place to sleep safely on a temporary basis, and provided they are not a risk, for example are violent.
The facility will be staffed 24/7.