Proposed City of Regina-owned emergency shelter could be located on Albert Street

Two buildings on the 1400 block of Albert Street are the proposed location of a permanent emergency shelter in Regina. City council is set to debate purchasing the properties at a meeting on June 12, 2024.  (CBC/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Two buildings on the 1400 block of Albert Street are the proposed location of a permanent emergency shelter in Regina. City council is set to debate purchasing the properties at a meeting on June 12, 2024. (CBC/Radio-Canada - image credit)

The site of a potential emergency shelter owned by the City of Regina has now been made public.

A vacant building and a small strip mall at 1420 and 1440 Albert Street are the properties that could be purchased by the city as part of a $7.5-million deal that will be debated by Regina city council on Wednesday.

The details are contained in the agenda for the meeting published online Friday afternoon.

A potential location for the shelter had been kept secret until now because the offer on the properties had yet to be finalized.

This strip mall is one of the properties listed as the site of a proposed emergency shelter in Regina.
This strip mall is one of the properties listed as the site of a proposed emergency shelter in Regina.

This strip mall is one of the properties listed as the site of a proposed emergency shelter in Regina. (CBC/Radio-Canada)

The only information shared about the proposed location was that it would have "easy access to community services, core city areas and public transit."

The option to purchase the land expires on June 19. That means city council cannot push its vote a few weeks down the line. It must vote to approve or reject the proposal at its meeting on June 12.

The City of Regina has been funding temporary solutions while officials searched for three years for a suitable shelter space.

The city currently leases space at the Nest Health Centre, partnering with Regina Treaty/Status Indian Services, which operates a temporary shelter known as New Beginnings.

That space has 55 beds available for those experiencing homelessness. But the city's lease is set to expire in the summer of 2025.

City manager Niki Anderson confirmed the permanent shelter location would house as many people as are currently at New Beginnings.

This vacant building is one of the properties listed as the site of a proposed emergency shelter in Regina.
This vacant building is one of the properties listed as the site of a proposed emergency shelter in Regina.

This vacant building is one of the properties listed as the site of a proposed emergency shelter in Regina. (CBC/Radio-Canada)

Engagement to be held if purchase approved

There has yet to be any engagement with residents or business owners around the proposed location.

If the purchase is approved, the city's engagement will "centre on sharing information on the facility and responding to concerns to ensure safety, security and cleanliness," according to the staff report.

The city will be on the hook for $1.5 million of the project's cost, with the provincial and federal governments chipping in $3 million apiece in the form of a forgivable loan and grant.