With the snip of a ribbon, Souls Harbour Rescue Mission (SHRM) doubled its men’s emergency shelter capacity, added 17 more affordable housing suites and launched its second subsidized daycare in Regina.After 14 months of construction, SHRM’S Gerri Carroll Hope Centre opened officially on Tuesday morning.“It’s not about what we’ve done over the last year, but about what we’ll do inside these walls every day,” SHRM executive director, Joe Miller said.The facility at 1632 Angus St. will replace the existing soup kitchen, free clothing store and the men’s emergency shelter, which now has 24 beds instead of 12.There are six suites on the second floor reserved for seniors who are hard to house, and 11 regular suites on the fourth floor. The first tenants will be moving into their suites in January.The housing is geared toward individuals with physical or cognitive disabilities, mental illness, addictions and behavioural disorders who have trouble securing housing without support services.“One of the most horrible feelings must be to have nowhere to go, to wander aimlessly in a state of loneliness and despair,” Miller said. “We all need a place to throw down a welcome mat.”The building’s energy-efficient design — also known as a passive build — also will help free up operating costs to to pay staff and fund programming.Miller said energy-efficient aspects include thick walls (up to 21 inches in sections that have brick), fibreglass window frames and residential-sized furnaces instead of a traditional boiler. There is LED lighting throughout, and solar panels on the roof will reduce operating costs by 60 per cent.The extra money will go toward programs like Soul Sisters Catering Inc. which will be run in the New Year by the women’s addiction program.“The ladies will not only learn a variety of basic jobs skills, but will open up the book so-to-speak and teach them how to become entrepreneurs, how to run a business and how to succeed financially,” Miller said.The new build was made possible by more than $1.4 million from the federal and provincial governments, $340,000 from the City of Regina, $250,000 raised by the Rotary Club of Regina, and private and corporate donations.The total cost is about $7 million, the same amount it would have cost to do a conventional build, Miller said.The daycare can take up to 50 kids and a new drive-thru donations garage makes it easy and safe for people and organizations to drop off donations. The dining room has a capacity of 120 to 144 people and is converted into the men’s emergency shelter at night.“It’s our Christmas gift to the community,” SHRM operations, director Michael Towers said.
A view of the kitchen at the Gerri Carol Hope Centre, Souls Harbour Rescue Mission’s new building on Angus Street.
© PressReader. All rights reserved.