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Saskatoon Tribal Council shelter leaving downtown, expanding

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The Saskatoon Tribal Council's (STC) downtown homeless shelter is moving to a new location and expanding.

The shelter is set to open on Nov. 15 in a former church, at 415 Fairmont Drive, with enough space for 106 beds.

The STC’s current downtown shelter lease ends in March.

Chief Mark Arcand said the STC plans to transition people from the downtown location to the new Fairhaven shelter.

Chet Benson has lived in the Fairhaven neighbourhood since 2016.

Benson said he’s concerned about safety and property value as a result of the new shelter.

“This shelter is worrisome for more B & Es,[break and enters], in the area,” Benson told CTV News.

Benson said he’s upset there was no consultation with residents about the shelter.

“There was no town council meeting about this for the residents. No one reached out to us,” Benson said.

He believes the shelter would be better suited in the downtown, not a residential area.

The STC chief called homelessness “a community issue.”

“I’m not going to apologize to the people in that neighbourhood because there’s nothing to apologize for,” Arcand said.

“The only thing I’m going to say is they need to help us. This entire city needs to help us combat homelessness.”

The building for the new shelter was purchased by the Sask. government for $5 million, with the STC leasing the space.

It follows the government’s move to pull its funding from the Lighthouse, after it came to light that the former director had misused shelter funds.

Thirty-one of the 106 spaces in the new Fairhaven shelter are emergency beds that the STC is taking-on from the Lighthouse’s program that ended in September. 

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