Square One vice-chair, Crystal Froese along with the whole team within the organization are trying to fill the gaps in Moose Jaw when it comes to women’s emergency and warming centres. 

Currently, there is the Moose Jaw Transitions House for women facing violence and abuse, as well as addiction treatment centres, but no such place to go if they’re dealing with homelessness or trying to get out of the elements.  

“They kind of fall through the cracks, they really don’t have any place to go,” says Froese. “As well there is no warming centre any longer and the winter months are almost upon us here. We know we’ve seen an increase in the number of people that are vulnerable in our city. Square One is looking to help fulfill that need.” 

Froese adds the wheels are in motion to try and fill this gap as soon as possible within Moose Jaw. Square One has applied for provincial and federal funding to assist with the cost of building these two centres and created a business plan on how to attack this project.  

“We have numbers in place and have done the homework. Both of our MLAs have been involved and have been kept up to date with what we’re up to. We are hoping that in a short amount of time we’ll have the funding that we need.” 

As well Square One has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Moose Jaw Non-Profit Housing Corporation. The corporation will assist Square One in tapping into property management and have the backing of decades of expertise.  

They have begun working with the non-profit housing corporation in search of a suitable location for their women’s emergency and warming centre. She adds that currently, they have a few locations identified.  

With winter fast approaching, Froese is hopeful that they can start opening some doors for at least a women’s warming shelter before the snow flies, with all that being dependent on their provincial and federal partners and funding.  

There isn’t specific data on exactly how many women are affected by homelessness in Moose Jaw, but Froese did share some numbers that she was aware of.  

“We know Jen Angus from the Transition House at our last agency conversation said that they had to turn away about 16 women that didn’t fall under the mandate of what the transition house is.” 

“We know that the Chief of Police said publicly they didn’t turn people away from their foray when it’s cold.”  

Froese explains that women trade their safety for shelter and that’s why you may not see as many women out on the streets, but she says that doesn’t make them any less vulnerable.  

“It’s a very complex issue, but as a city councillor and a school board trustee I believe it’s my obligation and my responsibility to do what I can for the most vulnerable in our city.” 

Some of these initiatives that Square One pursues do come with a price tag. The organization has a number of raffles and fundraisers underway to help support its cause.  

You can find out more about Square One’s work or how to donate towards their cause on their website or Facebook page