REGINA — Ground was broken Tuesday for the YWCA Regina Centre for Women and Families building in the downtown.
The building will feature 68 transitional housing units and 40 shelter beds for a total of 108 units, and will also include critical support services, according to a news release from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
On hand for the announcement was Ahmed Hussen, minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, who announced the federal contribution of nearly $34 million to the project.
"Everyone deserves safe and affordable housing," said Hussein in a statement. "This investment brings much-needed emergency and supportive transitional housing units and support services for over 100 vulnerable women and children in Regina. Our government remains committed to working with our partners to address the real housing needs across Canada and ensure no one is left behind. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.”
Gene Makowsky, minister of Social Services and minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, Regina Mayor Sandra Masters, and Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, CEO of the YWCA Regina, were also among those at the announcement.
The Government of Saskatchewan, through Saskatchewan Housing Corporation is providing $1 million towards the project, while the City of Regina is providing the land valued at $2 million.
YWCA Regina will own and operate the building and are providing $13 million in capital funding, which is being raised through their community capital campaign.
"The government of Saskatchewan continues to work alongside our community partners to make affordable housing more accessible and to support families in need," said Makowsky in a news release. "That is why we provided funding towards the YWCA Regina Centre for Women and Families, through our partnership with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. We are proud of this investment, which will provide safe and affordable housing supports to women and children who are in vulnerable situations and serve as the foundation as they build a healthier, brighter future for themselves and their families.”
“To have all three levels of government working in partnership alongside our community and investing collectively in the Centre for Women and Families is incredible," said Mayor Masters. "Regina’s Community Safety and Wellbeing Plan highlights domestic and intimate partner violence as a priority area of focus. This project will add capacity for our city to assist our vulnerable women and children with the supports and services they need.”
“The Centre for Women and Families has been, since day one, a project built from love, community, perseverance, and the belief that together, we can foster equity and healing," said Coomber-Bendtsen. "To see this hard work come into fruition today as we break ground is truly an incredible feeling. This wrap-around hub of support is the first of its kind in Canada, and the services we will be able to provide in this space will be truly transformative for our community’s women and families."
According to the news release, the building will be 85,000 square feet, and function as a hub that provides crisis and preventative services through the work of YWCA Regina and partnerships with other community serving organizations and visiting practitioners. The building will have community multi-purpose spaces, access to drop-in supports and essential needs, communal kitchens and indoor and outdoor play areas. The project is expected to be completed for the fall of 2024.