Saskatchewan

5 new emergency homes available for Regina families

Five families in need of emergency shelter now have a place to call home thanks to a partnership between the provincial and federal governments, and Regina-based Silver Sage Housing.

Housing corporation says 300 applications for emergency or transitional homes

Elder Cheryl Littletent (centre) cuts a ribbon to celebrate the opening of five new emergency homes for families in Regina. (Trent Peppler/CBC)

Erica Beaudin knows the journey of being a single mother in need of help. 

Twenty years ago she received emergency shelter and it helped propel her into a successful career. 

"As a young mother of three children under five years old leaving a very difficult situation, I needed first and foremost to have a place where my children had a safe place to to sleep and to play," Beaudin said.

Beaudin is now the executive director with Regina Treaty Status Indian Services, which provides support for at-risk clients facing housing crisis. 

The federal and provincial government, along with Silver Sage Housing, announced on Monday five ready-to-move-in emergency or transitional homes for people in need.

The Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation and government of Saskatchewan contributed a joint $800,000. Silver Sage is contributing $460,000.

"I'm so grateful and it's very gratifying and a blessing to be part of this very significant change that will be available to five families at a time," Beaudin said.

Beaudin said that with a safe place to live, she was able to concentrate on her life, finish university and eventually own a home of her own. Now her three children are finishing their post-secondary studies and looking to become homeowners.

Maynard Sonntag, Silver Sage CEO​​​​, said they are charging $850 rent for a three-bedroom house in nice areas of the city.

He said there are around 300 applications of people waiting for housing. 

Erica Beaudin, executive director of Regina Treaty Status Indian Services received emergency housing for her young family 20 years ago. (Trent Peppler/CBC)

Beaudin said she thinks the need for emergency and transitional housing has increased from 20 years ago.

"We have drive-by shootings now which we didn't have. We have home invasions. There's just a whole different type of drugs out there. So I would say the need for safe and secure housing has actually increased and we need more than these five houses."

Beaudin said a safe place to live is only the first step. Families need to be supported toward gaining independence, while service providers and government have to spend time and money of mental health and addictions support.

"I'm standing here 20 years later. It's not a it's not a six-month process. It's a years-long process."

Cool housing market helping 

Sonntag said Regina's housing market has helped the organization in its effort to find and purchase homes.

"It's been great, as prices have flattened and in fact actually dropped a fair bit," Sonntag said. 

He said the market was so favourable that the plan was to initially buy four houses, but it changed.

This is the kitchen of a new emergency home for a Regina family in need. (Trent Peppler/CBC)

Sonntag said only small renovations and repairs were needed. The houses are located in different neighbours in the city near schools and amenities. 

About the Author

Adam Hunter

Journalist

Adam Hunter is the provincial affairs reporter at CBC Saskatchewan, based in Regina. He has been with CBC for 12 years. He hosts the CBC podcast On the Ledge. Follow him on Twitter @AHiddyCBC. Contact him: adam.hunter@cbc.ca