After years of advocating, Square One Community Inc. Moose Jaw’s goal of having a women’s emergency shelter in the city is coming true.
William Milne Place, which is owned by Moose Jaw Non-Profit Housing, will become the site of a warming centre and emergency women’s shelter for those homeless in our city.
Phase one of the project is now underway to get the initial programming underway to open the warming centre on the ground floor of the building where Global Direct Realty is currently located.
“What we're working on right now is the background, because much work has to be done. We're in the process of hiring a general manager and working up all the details of what will need to be in place,” said Square One Community Board Chair Della Ferguson.
One of the obstacles in the way was the fact that 13 per cent of the building was leased to the city, which was subleased to Global Realty.
During Monday night’s city council meeting, it was agreed to mutually terminate the lease agreement. The city is expected to assign the sublease to Moose Jaw Non-Profit Housing which would have to provide Global Realty 30-days' notice to terminate the sublease.
Ferguson said the shelter will have a “transitional shelter to housing philosophy” that will include navigators and supports in place to help the unhoused move towards finding housing.
“We know that housing is necessary, it is a right,” Ferguson said.
With running a shelter comes the costs. Square One Community will continue its fundraising campaigns as well as they will be working with Moose Jaw Non-Profit Housing and Saskatchewan Housing Corporation to find funding.
“Oh, my goodness, it takes a lot of money to run a shelter and have staff surrounding them, staff who are trained and equipped. So yes, we are needing donations greatly,” Ferguson said.
Square One Community is holding its Walk for Warmth on March 9 starting at 7 p.m. The walk will start at Zion United Church and participants will walk around Crescent Park and finish at St. Aidan’s Parish Hall at around 9 p.m.
More information about Square One Community Inc. Moose Jaw can be found at www.squareonehousingmoosejaw.com.