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Carmichael Outreach in search of $350,000 for overnight warming shelter

Carmichael Outreach in search of $350,000 for overnight warming shelter
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The cold temperatures are here, and people representing the homeless community are calling for an immediate opening of an overnight warming centre at Carmichael Outreach.

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“We are so tired of hearing how lucky we are that the weather’s been nice,” Tiro Mthembu with Good Trouble Network YQR said outside Carmichael Outreach Thursday.

“Tell that to our most vulnerable that have been living rough. We’ve had several deaths over the last few weeks in our community… this centre is vital for the safety of our community.”

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Carmicheal Outreach provides several services to the community who experience poverty and homelessness in the heritage neighbourhood.

Meals, showers and fresh clothes are a few of the things offered to those in need, but according to Mthembu, it’s no longer enough.

He is calling on all levels of government to work together to provide funding to the project.

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“What’s human life cost us in our community?” Mthembu questioned. “I think that we have to prioritize our most vulnerable being treated with dignity and respect. So, frankly, the funding, we know that the money’s out there. It’s just the political will that we have to push.”


Carmichael Outreach supplies many people in need with free meals and a warm space during the day.


Andrew Benson / Global News

For Tyler Gelsinger, the executive director of Carmichael Outreach, he said offering an overnight shelter is something the organization has been discussing for a long time.


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He said a warming space could be ready to open as early as February. All that stands in the way is funding — a total he said is around $350,000.

“We’re working with partners and we are trying to get it done as fast as possible,” Gelsinger said. “We do have a plan and stuff in place, so if (we get the) $350,000, we’re pretty much ready to go deal with the whole hiring process and just getting the train going. But until then, there’s not really much we can do at this time.”

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Gelsinger said potential grants are currently being looked at from a number of organizations including the City of Regina.

In a statement, the City of Regina said, “City Administration is collaborating with community-based service providers to invest those funds and to ensure a warming space is available as soon as possible. The City of Regina will be providing more details regarding a warming space once they become available.”

They did not specify if the plans include a space at Carmichael Outreach.

Once the funding is secured, Gelsinger said they would move forward with a warming space open from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

“It’s just a place where people can come and warm up and have coffee,” Gelsinger said. “It would seat approximately 56 people and up to 80 people depending on how we position things.”

Roughly three employees would be staffed for each shift, while another handful of volunteers might also be in the space to help facilitate.

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