The Overnight Shelter program will accommodate homeless and vulnerable individuals within the community. “We provide meals, shelter and clothing for folks who don’t have anywhere else to go, we also provide outreach services during the daytime,” said the shelter’s manager Tina Johnson.

The shelter is a seasonal program that has been in operation for several years now but was put on hold the last two years due to COVID-19. Johnson explained that the program’s history dates back multiple years with some community members creating projects to raise awareness for homelessness.

“Jackie Valentine and her staff put together an overnight sleepout a few years back called ‘Project Hope’ to try and bring awareness to the community for the need of shelter for some of our folks. What they did was invite a bunch of community members to come and spend the night outside, I believe it was around Valentine’s Day and it was quite cold that night so they all got together and slept outside in the backyard and it kind of brought some awareness to how difficult it can be to live in northern Saskatchewan if you don’t have a place to go in the winter,” explained Johnson.

The shelter is anticipated to accommodate 22 individuals. “We are hoping to be able house 22 people, were not completely sure yet, we still have to do a bit of rearranging in the building here, once we get our cots in this week were hoping to be able to determine exactly how many people we will be able to fit,” said Johnson.

The facility is scheduled to begin operations on October 1 and remain open until April 30.

(By Roman Hayter)