‘Everybody at the table’: Housing pilot hopes to create long-term solutions

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“Today, we’ve got everybody at the table,” Clark said at a formal announcement for the project on Thursday. “That’s a huge step for our community, to actually say we’re all going to commit, we’re all going to take our part of working on this solution and we’re going to do it together.”

City council has fast-tracked $100,000 in existing funding for the STC-led project, which the provincial ministries of justice and social services have agreed to match with $50,000 each.

Arcand noted that the STC has never had the funding to be able to do this type of work.

“Today is a special day for myself,” he said. “In the last couple days, I feel a lot of pressure has been taken off us as the tribal council.”

Arcand said it’s clear the long-term work needs to happen because some of the 110 people the effort helped find new homes are already in the process of being evicted, due to challenges with addiction or mental health.

“It’s not just gonna happen overnight, and the community can’t expect that,” he said. “The community has to be patient and understanding, because this has been going on for a lot of years.”

The first phase of the project includes a street outreach team based at the White Buffalo Youth Lodge made up of representatives from the STC, the city, the Inter-Agency Response and staff members from Social Services and the Saskatoon Housing Authority.

Arcand said work is set to start in the last week of September or first week of October, depending recruitment of a navigator and outreach workers.

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