Downtown Saskatoon – December 15, 2021 | Last week, the City of Saskatoon leased space to the Saskatoon Tribal Council in Downtown Saskatoon to allow for a temporary wellness centre (shelter) for people in Saskatoon. The emergency wellness centre on 1st Avenue will assuredly be temporary for this winter season.

At the December 9, 2021 City Council meeting, Executive Director Brent Penner made an oral presentation on behalf of the Downtown Saskatoon Business Improvement District Board of Directors and membership. Since the provision of Social Services is a provincial responsibility, Penner also wrote to Premier Moe, Province of Saskatchewan. View the letter + comments at the link below.

Key Values of Downtown Saskatoon’s Position Statement:

  1. The lack of action by the Provincial Government on the issue of shelters, and the general delivery of social services has led to many challenges. This is of concern to many community members – both to those who need support, and people who are trying to live, work, and visit the areas nearby.
  2. Community consultation and planning is key for all things, including these types of facilities.
  3. On the incredibly positive side, having the Saskatoon Tribal Council involved is tremendous. We look forward to positive program results as well as their openness for dialogue and a spirit to do things better and differently.
  4. Downtown Saskatoon would like a commitment from both the City of Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Tribal Council that this location is indeed temporary and to work now to plan for better solutions for next year and beyond.
  5. The Province of Saskatchewan must take immediate steps to create a long-term plan. Downtown Saskatoon and others will be there to help as we can, but the Province has to lead.
  6. The plan must ensure services are coordinated and outcomes tracked to ensure that resources being deployed are having the right impact in providing services.
  7. Services should be available through a distributed model and must be right-sized, so as not to bring more harm than good to an area. All neighbourhoods are fragile, and Downtown is no different.
  8. This is not just about business owners. This is about people and the health of the whole city with a vibrant Downtown heart. This is about a plan to ensure services work for everyone. We must do better.