Saskatchewan

Regina's Camp Hope postpones plan to disband, says this weekend will be 'final push'

Camp Hope, a tent encampment set up in Regina's Pepsi Park, will continue to operate this weekend as snow blanketed the city Thursday.

Camp Hope now says it will disband Monday

Snow covered Regina’s Camp Hope last night. The temporary tent encampment cancelled its plan to disband on Friday. (Alexander Quon/CBC)

Camp Hope, a tent encampment set up in Regina's Pepsi Park, will continue to operate this weekend as snow blankets the city.

The camp was originally supposed to disband on Friday but said in a Twitter post that decommissioning the camp will now happen "some time on Monday."

The post continues on to say that this weekend is the "final push" — that camp organizers and volunteers have "bought as much time" as possible for the City of Regina and province. 

The temporary tent encampment has been up for more than a month in Regina's Core Community Park, also known as Pepsi Park.

It's been providing hundreds of vulnerable people with a temporary home, safety and food. Camp organizers and supporters have also been working to support people dealing with addictions.

The City of Regina recently announced plans to move people from the tents at Camp Hope into an indoor space, but has yet to provide details on when or where that will happen. It did say that a lease agreement has been signed for an indoor space.

Shylo Stevenson, communications officer with the Regina Needle Recovery and Community Support, told CBC News that the city's indoor transition plan is at its "homestretch" and that specific details on disbanding the camp and the indoor space will be shared on Friday. 

"There have been some developments moving forward, and we just want to make sure that in the transition process moving forward to an indoor facility, that no one was left behind. So we decided that we're going to actually extend our services until Monday," Stevenson said. 

He says next week, Regina Needle Recovery will go back to providing services such as harm reduction, community support and outreach services. 

Camp asking for public's help

In the meantime, Stevenson is asking for the public's help this weekend: to bring in a steady supply of warm beverages and food, charcoal briquettes and help fill and return propane tanks. 

Stevenson says the camp sees 150 residents on average and that there aren't enough tents to accommodate everyone. 

The city sent a warming bus to the camp last night, which was at capacity for the majority of the night due to the cold weather. 

Regina was hit with just under five centimeters of snow, during Saskatchewan's first snowstorm of the winter season, with more snow expected to fall.

"We just want to say thanks to everybody coming up and helping, whether it's time, food or donations," Stevenson said. "But we need that continue till Monday."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Yasmine Ghania is a reporter for CBC Saskatchewan, currently based in Saskatoon.

With files from Alexander Quon

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