Carmichael Outreach is one step closer to moving into a new building to help provide its services to those in need.
Regina city council approved the rezoning of the building located on the corner of 12th Avenue and St. John Street. The building, previously zoned as residential infill housing, is now a mixed residential business.
“Now we can conduct our services in that building, which is great and my reaction was relief and excitement,” said Carmichael’s Executive Director Cora Gajari on Tuesday.
Currently, Carmichael Outreach is trying to secure the funds for renovations and preparations for the move.
Gajari said the move is needed not only to provide new space for programs, but to get out of their current building.
“We have constant problems with it. We have to do constant work, we get flooding, we get mice, we have to be very careful about that kind of stuff.”
Currently, the organization can’t serve people meals inside the building, so they have people line up outside their back door for a takeaway meal.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of dignity involved in that when people have to stand in line and it’s minus 40 or plus 40 outside.”
Gajari has been at Carmichael for three-and-a-half years and has seen the number of people using the service grow from 34,000 to 36,000 then up to 52,000. Last year, they served around 63,000 meals.
However, there are a few people who live in the area who are concerned about them moving into the new building.
“They’re mostly concerned about loitering, public drinking and the needle exchange.”
She said those concerns are “unfounded” and said they will set up the building so that there’s space in the back so people aren’t on the street.
While no date has been set, Gajari believes they will be moved in at the end of the summer or beginning of fall.
— With files from Kevin Martel.