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Saskatoon city councillors discuss homeless people and emergency shelter spaces

Saskatoon city council on Wednesday has a number of items on the agenda, but a couple councillors are bringing forward motions revolving around the homeless community and shelters slated for the city.

The Saskatchewan government announced two new shelter locations in Saskatoon, one at 1701 Idylwyld Dr. N. at a former liquor store in the Mayfair community and the other at 421 Central Ave. in Sutherland, taking over the fire hall.

Coun. Darren Hill submitted a motion to bring back statistics about what impact the STC Wellness Centre has had on crime in the Fairhaven community and what community safety efforts were coordinated with those residents and what efforts Mayfair and Sutherland residents can expect.

The STC Wellness Centre has been what many councillors and residents have been comparing shelter spaces to in the city, with many Fairhaven residents taking part in public protests and fighting against the shelter’s implementation, saying that crime has spiked in the area.

Hill, in his motion claimed that crime in the area around the Wellness Centre has risen almost 1,100 per cent, year over year.

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The city has a bylaw in place for the location of licensed adult services, requiring businesses to be located 160 metres from schools, playgrounds, residential areas and recreational facilities. Hill said the same bylaw should be mandated for shelters.

Coun. Zach Jeffries took to X (formerly Twitter) to say that he would also be bringing forward a motion regarding shelter spaces.

His motion would establish that future shelter spaces need to be at least 250 metres away from elementary schools and at least 500 metres away from existing shelter locations.

“I believe this motion will help provide more certainty and clarity in the community about future shelters and how they can best be located,” Jeffries said.

“If this motion passes, it would end consideration of the former Fire Hall Number 5 as a location for a shelter and ensure that different sites can be looked at that take into account these separation distances.”

More to come 

— with files from Global News’ Brooke Kruger

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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