The Scattered Sites Outreach Program in La Ronge will be ending all programs and closing its doors at the end of next month. 

Scattered Sites is operated by the Kikinahk Friendship Centre and offers unhoused individuals meals and addictions treatment. It also serves as the town’s only homeless shelter. 

For years, the shelter operated 24 hours a day from October through April and had the capacity to take in 23 people per night. In the 2022–23 season, the shelter was constantly busy and saw around 200 clients throughout the winter. 

The Kikinahk Friendship Centre was seeking approval from town council in March to establish a full-time temporary shelter in that community. Ron Woytowich, executive director of Kikinahk, said councilors seemed to be on board with the idea until multiple businesses expressed their concerns, causing the plan to collapse. 

After the proposition for a new shelter at the Waterbase Inn fell through, Kikinahk had to return the funds given by the government that were allocated for the new shelter. 

Scattered Sites closing its doors is ultimately a result of a lack of funding. Woytowich stated that it cost over one million dollars to operate the program last year, and less funding has been available in recent years. 

“It was an extremely hard decision, and it’s taken us since maybe last September; at that time, at the board level, we discussed trying to find funding,” said Woytowich. 

Along with funding being a big issue, finding staff has also been a big struggle for Kikinahk. 

“Every level of government wants qualified people, and we find that when we’re offering $15 and $18 an hour because that’s all that our funders will pay and people can get a job at the daycare or any place else paying in the 20s or more, we’re competing and we can’t find people,” explained Woytowich. 

As of now, all Scattered Sites programs and the shelter will be coming to a close on the last Friday of June.