A couple of milestones around The Lighthouse.
- The east tower at The Lighthouse is going to be open in June. It will include 58 new affordable living apartments, a new kitchen, common area, and a deck area between the new tower. Along with some other staff we got a tour of the building a couple of weeks ago and it is going to look fantastic. They are working on a demonstration suite right now so in a couple of weeks from now we expect to have some photos and video to show you.
- The Empire Hotel/west tower is getting some upgrades as well. The mental health rooms are moving along smoothly. Each room is being gutted and completely refurbished with new bathrooms, flooring, and wall coverings (there were layers of wallpaper up in some rooms). The carpet in the hallways and rooms has been removed and will be replaced by a great looking laminate.
The goal is that over the next couple of years each of the 64 rooms in west tower of The Lighthouse will be given an overhaul. We have 9 under renovations now which means we have 55 to go.
Why do projects like this matter? They make a big difference in the lives of the residents who are living here. We have found that the living conditions of many of our residents were so poor before they came to The Lighthouse, they would actually access emergency shelter services on weekends because a mat on the floor was an upgrade over the places where they lived before. While some of us get away to the lake or to Calgary for a weekend, life is so hard that a stay at a shelter was a way to help them cope. When residents move into a suite that we have know, while it may have aged, the idea of home is so big for them that they can barely contain themselves. Last week my wife and I were looking at some work that needed to be done when we ran into a resident who had just moved in. When I asked her how it was going, she actually yelled at me in excitement. Not only that but she realized she was talking really loud but noted that she was so happy, she couldn’t talk quieter.
We want to continue this as the norm and continue to invest into our residents and we can’t do that without your support. Room renovations cost around $15,000 per room and involve a new washroom, flooring, wheel chair accessible doors, and upgrades to the windows. It’s a big undertaking but it’s an investment in giving some of Saskatoon’s most vulnerable people a place to call home.