MIS­SION AC­COM­PLISHED

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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.

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