The Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. is pleased to announce it has secured funding to begin offering mobile outreach services. Using a retrofitted ambulance through the support of the Saskatoon Community Foundation’s 2013 Signature Grant, teams of two will provide transportation to homeless and/or intoxicated individuals to the Lighthouse or other support services between the hours of 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
“The goal of the program is to engage homeless, street-entrenched individuals and develop relationships with the purpose of assisting them in accessing housing and other services including healthcare, mental health and addictions resources,” says Dennis Bueckert, Director of Client Services at the Lighthouse. “The focus will be on going to where these individuals are in our community and helping them with what they need.”
Don Ewles, Grants and Communications Manager of the Saskatoon Community Foundation says, “The Saskatoon Community Foundation is proud to support the Lighthouse in offering assistance to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”
Funding for staffing has been generously provided by the Royal University Hospital Foundation Community Mental Health Endowment (CMHE) and the Community Initiatives Fund. Special thanks to Abacus Signs for their help to customized the vehicle.
Arla Gustafson, CEO, RUH Foundation says, “RUH Foundation’s CMHE focus is to provide supports that bridge hospitalization of patients with mental health and addictions and their life in the community. The Lighthouse Mobile Outreach will provide an important service and support for people who are in crisis and safely transport them to the appropriate place where they can get the help they need.”
“Supporting nonprofit efforts to improve the lives of those most in need aligns well with the work of the Community Initiatives Fund,” says Tracey Mann, executive director of the Community Initiatives Fund. “Offering access for all those with very limited means or resources, or those unaware or physically unable to access these crucial services, is an exemplary community service and worthy of support.”
The Lighthouse has a nurse on site, as well as counselors on staff to help connect those who spend the night to resources in the morning. There has been an increase in the number of people staying in the Stabilization Unit month over month, which means that there are fewer people using other emergency services unnecessarily such as police, ambulance and emergency room visits due to intoxication. The Lighthouse is continuing to fundraise to expand the Stabilization Unit to a full 24-hour program with 37 beds as well as renovate the long-term supported living suites.
The Lighthouse is a non-profit housing provider offering emergency shelter, supported living and affordable housing for those in need in downtown Saskatoon.