Saskatoon group to provide affordable housing for new and pregnant mothers

The Saskatchewan Housing Corporation and Saskatoon Housing Authority have provided Sanctum Care Group with a 27-unit apartment building to provide affordable housing for new and pregnant mothers.

“In the last 10 years we have seen a rapid increase in pregnant women who are homeless but also we have been seeing an increase in barriers to care,” Sanctum executive director Katelyn Roberts said.

“With the increasing rates of crystal meth use, opioid use, as well as syphilis and HIV in our community I think now more than ever we need safe supported housing for women, especially who are pregnant."

Sanctum’s prenatal outreach and resource team, which started in Saskatoon in December, works with high-risk prenatal clients who are on the verge of having their kids apprehended at birth by providing “wraparound supports to those women during pregnancy.”

The Sanctum 1.5 program provides housing for women before and after birth to also help prevent children from being appended at birth.

The program has helped 78 women and helped 110 children remain in the care of their mothers while reuniting another 44 children in out-of-home care with their mothers, according to a news release from the province.

Clients will begin moving into the houses starting June 1, in the building Sanctum is calling 2nd Steps. According to Roberts, the prenatal outreach program will launch in Regina in six months and in Prince Albert on Monday.