New housing to provide independence to residents with mental illness

Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald The Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Mental Health Association Prince Albert announced on Wednesday they officially broke ground on a new housing project.

Jayda Noyes, Daily Herald

A hole in the ground on Prince Albert’s 7th Street East will soon hold a safe, affordable space for those requiring support because of mental illness.

Spearheaded by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the future home is part of the country’s National Housing Strategy (NHS), which aims to reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent over a decade.

“We’re doing all of that kind of thing for only one reason: to help those who are in need,” said Councillor Don Cody.

According to the CMHA, mental illness worsens in times of stress and uncertainty, which are often part of an individual’s career and can affect their ability to work.

The city’s CMHA Executive Director, Doug Kinar, said the initiative is so those with mental illnesses “take pride and build their self esteem, to live on their own and take care of their own needs.”

The project will consist of six one-bedroom units of about 560 square feet, located at 538 – 7th St. East.

It’s not the first time the organization has constructed housing for this reason.

They have two other eight-unit houses in Prince Albert, completed in 2010 and 2016.

“By adding six more units to our housing stock…our hope is that all tenants will feel safe and comfortable in their new homes as they carry towards wellness and independence,” said Kinar.

The federal and provincial governments have jointly contributed about $613,000 to the new housing.

Living there comes with support services achievable with funding from the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).