Responding to Food Insecurity in Regina with an Exciting New Partnership

October 28, 2021 – REGINA, SK. – Carmichael Outreach, a community-based charity organization in Regina, is excited to announce an incredible partnership with SGI. Through a generous donation of $15,000, SGI will be the official sponsor of the Carmichael Outreach Food Security Program for the month of November, 2021.

Though food insecurity has been a longstanding problem in the community, Carmichael Outreach has noticed the need continues to grow since the onset of COVID-19, and even more so since the recent elimination of the Saskatchewan Assistance Program.

“We have been serving close to 300 meals each day and often running out of food in under an hour,” says Executive Director of Carmichael Outreach, Rochelle Berenyi, “we believe that no one should ever have to choose between putting a roof over their heads or food in their bellies. With the growing need for food, we have been struggling to make ends meet and provide enough meals for everyone. This support from SGI will really help us to be able to be there for those who need it.”

SGI believes in giving back to the province with community programs supporting a range of initiatives, one of which being the promotion of cultural diversity.

 “SGI is proud to support the Carmichael Outreach Food Security Program and its important work helping to look after people in need in our community,” SGI President and CEO Andrew Cartmell said.

Berenyi believes that partnerships like these are important for helping community organizations to thrive and meet important needs. “As an agency that relies heavily on fundraising and donations in order to keep our doors open, we are so grateful for SGI’s support this month. We always say that no one person, organization, or group can end homelessness alone, but if we all work together, we CAN end poverty and homelessness in our community.”

For more information, or if you are interested in sponsoring the Carmichael Outreach Food Security Program, contact Carmichael Outreach via email at tylerg@carmichaeloutreach.ca.

2020 Annual General Meeting

We invite our friends and Carmichael family members to join us via ZOOM on September 22 at 7:00 p.m. for our 2020 Annual General Meeting!
To receive a copy of the Zoom Link, please email carmichael.agm@gmail.com.

Seeking Storage Solutions!

If you’re looking for a project that will help you give back to the community, we just might have the perfect opportunity for you!

We’re seeking support to meet our storage needs. At Carmichael Outreach, we run on a tight budget, so needs like this often tend to fall to the wayside. We know that better storage solutions would improve our ability to serve the community, allowing us to store things like furniture, bulk items, donation overflow, and more!

This would also help us reduce the need to turn away donations when we are overflowing.

 

A couple of potential storage solutions we are looking for include:

 

Sturdy wall shelving for our programming storage room

We would love to have larger shelving installed in our programming storage room, where we could fit large tote buckets full of all kinds of supplies. This will allow us to make use of all the vertical space we have available in this room to store things like craft supplies, games, movies, and more, all of which will help us to improve our ability to offer recreational programming

 

Outdoor sheds, shipping containers, or metal bins for storage

We would love to have a space like this on site where we could store donations of furniture and other supplies for our Housing Support Program. These items are stored to be used when we help move people into housing, so that we can ensure their houses are homes.

 

Thank you once again to all of our friends in the community. We are so grateful to have such a great group of people in our corner, and are looking forward to see what the future brings.

 

Sincerely,

The Carmichael Family

Construction to Commence on New Carmichael Outreach Centre; Organization to begin New Year in a New Temporary Home

Carmichael Outreach will be facing several changes going into 2019. Exciting news comes with regards to the development of the new centre. CCR Construction has been selected to take on the important role of contract construction manager for this project, and construction will begin soon. The anticipated completion for this project is May 2019.

Some bittersweet news comes with another move to a new temporary location. As of February 1, 2019 the Carmichael Outreach Centre will be moving to a new location, sharing space with local partner, the YWCA, who will be generously providing the space free of charge.

“I believe this move will prove to be a blessing in a disguise,” says Rochelle Berenyi, Carmichael’s Communications, Advocacy, and Projects Officer, “while we are not eager to be moving to another temporary location, we are happy to have our friends at the YWCA there to support us. This move will allow us to save a great deal of money on rent, and will give us the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the YW.”

As of February 1, 2019, you will be able to find Carmichael Outreach through the back door of the YWCA, located at 1940 McIntyre St, Regina.

The kitchen and meal service will remain at the Heritage Community Location, at 1654 11th avenue.

For more information, contact Rochelle Berenyi by phone at (306) 757-2235 ext. 225 or by email at rochelle@carmichaeloutreach.ca.

What am I celebrating on Canada Day?

When I celebrate Canada day, I will not be celebrating the Canada of our past – I will be celebrating the Canada of our future.

I will not be celebrating the genocide, theft, and destruction that took place, not only in the founding of this country, but for decades to follow in the form of residential schools, 60’s scoop, and straight forward discrimination that still exists today.

I will be celebrating the Canada that I want to see. I will be celebrating truth and reconciliation. I will be celebrating how far we have come, and how very far we still need to go. I will be acknowledging the values that this country was founded on, tossing those values aside, and celebrating family, respect, and community for ALL Canadians.

I urge everyone to remember what you are truly celebrating today. Don’t get me wrong, go out and have fun, play games, enjoy the fireworks, but DON’T forget what our country was built on, what our country looks like now, and what we want it to look like in the future.

I am grateful to be Canadian, but I still know that this country that I love has its flaws. We can work together as a community, and as a country, to fight for what is right, and to build a version of Canada that we can not only love, but be proud of.

5 Days 2018

Night #1 is over!

This morning, I had a chance to pop by and say hi to this year’s Five Days for the Homeless participants. I asked them how their first night went.

They talked about feeling the cold snow hit their tarp, and just being thankful that they had a way to cover their faces.
They talked about how much it snowed last week, and how they could only imagine the impact that would have had on our city’s homeless.
They talked about someone bringing them muffins, and the guilt that they felt in accepting food when they know that not everyone on the street is that lucky.

I am so glad that we have these passionate and understanding people heading up this year’s campaign. They are stepping out of their comfort zone to stay outside for these 5 days, but they know that their experience this week won’t even begin to compare to the experiences faced by so many in our community.

Five Days for the Homeless is important, not just because of the money it raises, but because of the awareness it raises surrounding this very real and very pressing issue in our community. For many of us, it is difficult to imagine a life without a home. Our homes are where we go to lay our heads at night. We invite our friends into our homes to socialize. Our homes shelter us from the cold, rain, and snow. They store our belongings and our memories. They give us an address, that we can list on our identification and health cards. Our homes help to give us humanity.

It is often said that a person’s home is the extension of who they are. Depriving a person of a home is depriving them from a piece of their own identity.

In 2015, a point in time count was conducted in Regina to determine how many of our own were living without a place to call home. There were 232 total people found on the night of the count.  232 people, just like you and I, living their lives without the safety, comfort, or security of four walls. While this number is alarming on it’s own, this does not even begin to capture the whole picture. It doesn’t consider the countless individuals forced to couch surf, stay with friends and family, or hide out in abandoned shelters. The problem of hidden homelessness is an extremely prevalent one in our community, especially due to the frigid cold temperatures we see here in Saskatchewan. According to Statistics Canada, 8% of Canadians surveyed in 2014 reported experiencing hidden homelessness at some point in their lives. This number is a reminder that being off the streets and “hidden” from the public eye is not the same as being in a home.

We are excited and proud of the University of Regina students for dedicating so much time and energy to this campaign, and to this important cause. We can only hope that, one day, homelessness will be a thing of the past, and campaign’s like these can disappear.

Together, we can end poverty and homelessness in our community.

 

Looking Back on 2017

It’s time to ring in 2018! 2017 was a big year for Carmichael. We outgrew our cozy little home on Osler Street and purchased a new-to-us building on 12th and St. Johns.

While we work to raise the necessary funds to renovate our new forever-home, we moved out of our space on Osler into a temporary location at 2300 11th Avenue, downtown. Nicor was a huge help to us, providing the space to us at a rate that is remarkably lower than market value. I don’t know what we would have done without them!

We have had a lot of changes in staffing over the past year. We said goodbye to a lot of valued members of our team, but have welcomed new staff with open arms! We have also elected a few new members to our board this year. This new team is eager and willing to help make 2018 one of Carmichael’s best years yet!

With all of the excitement that came this past year, there came misfortune as well. I would be remiss to leave 2017 without mentioning the many members of the Carmichael family who have passed away this year. Be it from the weather, addiction, or sickness, these were strong unique individuals, and it is important to recognize the lives they lived. Listed in no particular order, we would like to honour the following 20 lives that were lost in 2017:

Darryl Deets
Ricky Spewcer
Paul Soerenson
Darrin Missens
Raymond Pewin
Arnold Naytowhow
Rodney Nipi
David Cappo
Michelle Desjarlais
Rodney Mawwhinney
Elaine Yahyahkeekoot
Kelvin Pasap Jr.
Hillard Goodpipe
Fred Keller
Doreen Royal (Lou)
Ruder Bugler Peyachew
Melvin E. Ulmer
Larry Asapace
Don Lively
Garry Nowell

If I have missed anyone, please let me know, and I will update our list to ensure that the lives of all members of the Carmichael family can be recognized.

It is never easy to lose someone, but it is important to always honour the lives they lived, rather than look back with sorrow. Moving forward, we must all do our best to make Regina a safer place to live. Working to reduce poverty and homelessness in our community can help to save the lives of many, and it is important that we do what we can to ensure that everyone has access to the basic goods and services they need. As a community, we can work together to prevent more deaths like these, and to help our community members live longer, healthier, and happier lives.

Let us all do our parts to make 2018 our best year yet. With time, strength, and teamwork, we can end poverty and homelessness in our community.

Happy new year.

A Future Built on Community

Thank you to everyone who has supported Carmichael, our operations, and our Imagine Initiative thus far. We believe in respect, dignity, and the importance of empowerment. Everything we do is done with and for our community, with many of the people who use our services going on to volunteer or work with our Organization. The Carmichael family is unique and special, and without them, we would never exist.

We launched our Imagine Initiative so that we could share our goals and our vision with the rest of the community. Before expanding, I would like to begin by having you imagine your family.

Imagine your little brother or sister, running away from home, with nowhere to go, cold and alone.

Imagine walking down Scarth Street in the middle of winter and seeing your grandfather curled up on the sidewalk.

Imagine hearing that your cousin has overdosed and died, because they didn’t have anyone there to support them through recovery.

I could go on forever with more examples, and while these examples may not apply to you, they are an absolute reality for countless individuals in Regina, many of whom are members of the Carmichael Family.

Our Imagine Initiative is built on what we see for the future, not just for Carmichael, but for everyone. While it may be easy to feel bad for someone in a moment and quickly move on, we must all remember that the people described in the above examples do not just exist to be pitied. They are strong, resilient, and powerful individuals. They are people who have suffered and grown. They are people who have faced adversity and work hard every day to create a better life for themselves. Just like you would want to support your own family through hardship, for some of these people, all they need is a bit of support, encouragement, and empowerment to find their footing in life. As a community, we must be there to build each other up, and never to put each other down. We must remember that we all have our strengths and weaknesses. We all have our privileges and our misfortunes. Let’s remember to use those strengths and privileges in the best way possible, supporting and growing with one another every step of the way.

I have only been with Carmichael for a few months now, but I am so grateful to have been welcomed into this strong and resilient family.

We want you to invite you to support Carmichael, and to become a part of this family, too.