REGINA – Construction has begun on a new family complex with a mission to keep young aboriginal families in complex situations together.
Mike O’Donnell, city councillor for Ward 8, says the land where the complex is being built used to be the edge of the city and was a place for buses to turn around.
“The land has been vacant for a long time,” O’Donnell said.
The space became a surplus land for the city, with parks and schools now nearby, making it a great place for families and a perfect choice when the project was in its early stages.
The File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council is teaming up the city, Silver Sage Holdings and Foxvalley Councilling to make this a reality.
The 14-unit complex will provide temporary housing for a one-year term and also offer future residents different support programs that they pick and tailor to their needs.
“The families have had some struggles,” O’Donnell added.
“So they just need a place that would be safe, that would be theirs, and that would have support services available to them.”
Some of the supports put in place help to teach the parents and families practical skills.
These skills include learning how to cook, how to shop, how to budget money properly and learning different parenting techniques. There are also counselling programs to deal with any domestic violence, addiction or other trauma that these families may be coming out of.
Mark Fox, the executive director and founder of Foxvalley Counselling said that “within that one year they should have learned the skills that they need to learn.”
According to Fox, the success rate for the program is 96 per cent and can be attributed to the individual families for their hard work.
The homes are designed to help residences get their families back together and keep them together.
Edmund Bellegarde, chairman of the board for Silver Sage Holdings, said that it is critical to have a program like this in place.
“It’s a very significant program because it means support for families that are at risk of losing their children into foster care,” Bellegarde said.
“It means critical supports and counseling services for families that are fighting to get their children back from foster care. It means critical importance to building communities and building a healthy community. It starts with that family unit and the center of that family unit is a home.”
Building these communities gives residents a place to feel safe and call home.
The Foxvalley housing complex is getting ready to move residents in by the end of the year.