Regina city council considering land gift for new YWCA facility

The Regina YWCA is expected to receive a land gift from the city to build a new Centre for Women and Families.

City council will be voting on gifting 1915 and 1955 Retallack Street to the YWCA, Wednesday night. The addresses are currently occupied by Lucy Eley Park and the old Victoria School site, the school was demolished in 1958.

In a submission to city council, YWCA CEO Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen describes the proposed centre as a hub to serve women and families before, during and after a crisis.

Coomber-Bendtsen added that their current facilities lack sufficient space to meet service demands. She said that getting access to the Retallack land would help ensure the YWCA remains in the area as a 24-hour service provided, plus $10 million help from the province and $12 million from the federal government for the eventual build.

The estimated cost to build the centre is $35 million.

The YWCA says a new facility will help them address capacity issues at current facilities. Their homeless shelter, My Aunt’s Place, turned away 2,000 women and children in 2017. Close to 1,000 women and children were turned away from their domestic violence shelter.

The centre would not include more beds, but would be designed to a variety of preventative and harm reduction services.

Plans indicate the centre would also incorporate recreation facilities that are open to the community. Lucy Eley Park currently has playground equipment and a football field.

The property on the 1900 block of Retallack Street is valued at just over $2 million dollars. The YWCA pays a $1 per year lease fee for their current headquarters, 1940 McIntyre Street. If this is approved, the $1 per year lease would transfer to the future centre on Retallack.

More to come…

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