The Northwest Metis Council has teamed up with Under One Roof to create the Waskaa'igan Neegan Safe & Warm Space, a place where people 18 and older experiencing homelessness can get out of the cold at night.
The Space is located at Under One Roof, 37 Third Ave. NW in Dauphin, and will be open every night from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. from now until March 31, 2023. Northwest Metis Council Vice President Frances Chartrand says they received funding from the Brandon Renewal Corporation to help open the space.
"So we have people that are homeless and are walking around the streets of Dauphin, and people that are being left there that come in from the outlying communities to do shopping and they don't make it home and they have nowhere to go. Winter months are like minus 20, minus 30, and we're looking for a warm space for them to be able to go."
Chartrand says there will be full-time security on site, and they're also hired outreach workers that will be there to assist anyone that needs it.
"We understand that a lot of people come in, and a lot of people are couch surfing and there are some people that have mental health issues. COVID-19 was hard on everyone, not only in the Parkland area but all around there world, so we're trying to find and make sure that we can have wrap-around services to assist them with housing, with mental health workers, with education, with employment, and just to reunite them with their families to be self-sufficient."
The program is an extension of the Housing First Program that is run by the Northwest Metis Council, and Chartrand is working with the federal and provincial governments to try and get funding for the space, so it can continue in the future.