City of Regina plans to move Camp Marjorie residents indoors

·2 min read
Camp Marjorie at Pepsi Park in Regina's Heritage neighbourhood. (Raphaële Frigon/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Camp Marjorie at Pepsi Park in Regina's Heritage neighbourhood. (Raphaële Frigon/Radio-Canada - image credit)

The City of Regina is looking for an indoor space to house Camp Marjorie's residents.

The encampment in Regina's Pepsi Park has continued to grow over the last three weeks. People move in and out as they find housing or get temporary assistance from social services, but camp spokespeople have said around 100 people might be living there at any given time.

With winter just around the corner, cold temperatures will soon make it more dangerous for people to be sleeping outdoors.

Speaking on The Morning Edition, Regina mayor Sandra Masters said city council has created a task force to look for an indoor location for Camp Marjorie's residents.

"Finding a warm place is step one," she said. "We wanted to ensure that services and care in more of a wraparound setting were available as soon as folks came indoors, with the intent to serve some of the complex and complicated needs of the folks in the camp and work to transition them."

Masters said she hopes the task force will have narrowed down an indoor location "by the end of this week."

"[Then we can] enter into negotiations or perhaps divert programming if it ends up in a city facility," she said.

The city will also be partnering with community-based organizations like Regina/Treaty Status Indian Services to help care for people once they move indoors.

LISTEN | Regina community comes together to help homeless at Camp Marjorie

Shylo Stevenson is one of the Camp Marjorie co-ordinators. He said people urgently need facilities that just aren't available in the park — like showers, bathrooms, laundry and a kitchen. The new location could also be a co-ordinated place for people to access health-care, addiction services and child protective services, Stevenson said.

"Right now, the first and foremost key part is getting people out of the tents, out of the park, and we can put Camp Marjorie's name to rest and provide those basic essentials," he said.

While Stevenson is keeping a close eye on the city's search for an indoor facility, he isn't celebrating yet. He thinks the city and other stakeholders should have acted much sooner to prevent or mitigate the housing crisis that has left so many Regina residents homeless this fall.

"When we see it, we'll believe it," he said. "That's where we're at. We're entering Day 21 [at Camp Marjorie], and it's just 21 days too late."

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