Saskatoon, SK – United Way of Saskatoon and Area (United Way) has made a generous $65,000 donation in support of the Saskatoon Tribal Council’s (STC’s) recently opened Emergency Wellness Centre. This donation will help STC offer shelter and mental wellness supports to individuals in Saskatoon who are experiencing homelessness.
“Access to safe and affordable housing is a significant and growing issue in Saskatoon, and the severity of the situation has only worsened because of COVID-19. Through the support of United Way’s generous donors, we are proud to provide a $65,000 grant to the Saskatoon Tribal Council to help with the operational costs of the Wellness Centre. We are thankful to community leaders such as the Saskatoon Tribal Council for addressing the immediate needs of Saskatoon’s most vulnerable homeless citizens, especially during the frigid winter months. I hope by coming onboard as a funder of the Emergency Wellness Centre, United Way will inspire others to help because everyone deserves a safe place to call home.” Sheri Benson, CEO, United Way of Saskatoon and Area.
Through financial investments, community partnerships, public awareness, and government advocacy United Way is working to tackle homelessness, along with the often-contributing factors of mental health, education inequality, and racism. United Way initiatives such as Journey Home, a housing first program, have helped individuals find a safe place to call home, without any other barriers allowing them to receive support for their physical and mental wellbeing. United Way is focused on addressing the short-term and immediate needs in our community with investments in local programs and services while also working on solutions to solve the long-term and growing issues alongside other community leaders and government.
STC’s Emergency Wellness Centre has been at or slightly over capacity since opening on December 15, 2021, supporting 50-56 relatives daily. People have come in off the streets and from other shelters that are overcapacity. COVID-19, combined with the cold weather, has created an emergency situation for our homeless relatives, underscoring the need for places like the Wellness Centre. STC is glad to have opened the Centre just as the cold weather settled in permanently, and our relatives needed shelter and supports. The Wellness Centre is a short-term solution with long-term potential to address the intersectionalities in the systemic issues of racism, mental health, addictions, poverty, and homelessness.
“The Saskatoon Tribal Council is appreciative for the kindness and generosity of the donation from the United Way of Saskatoon that will directly support our relatives at the Wellness Centre. Homelessness, and all its related issues, are community issues that require community solutions,” states Tribal Chief Mark Arcand. “Donations from community partners provide a solution that goes a long way in ensuring we help as many relatives as possible. Together, we are making a difference in peoples’ lives so they can have a better quality of life.”
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