National Volunteer Week April 12-18

This week is National Volunteer Week and we would like to celebrate some of our amazing volunteers! Crib is a popular game during our weekly Games Night.

One of our awesome volunteers, Hannah, comes every week to play crib with whoever is up for the challenge!

Monday April 13th

Thursday , April 16th

Sarah comes once a week after work to help us serve the busy supper meal.

Wed, April 15th

Bingo is always a huge hit!

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Live music during coffee house is an amazing treat to sooth the soul and make the evening feel special.

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Our Cameco Community Kitchen is run almost 100% by volunteers, who bring the food, prepare it, and serve it to the wider community on Mondays and Fridays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. This is a great team build exercise and we hope to continue the program even in the summer months.

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This lovely group of women put together dehydrated food packages for our Mobile Outreach to give out to people they encounter on the street. Just add water and you get a wholesome, healthy meal!(2)Friday

Thank you for sharing your amazing talent!
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Sharing smiles and uplifting people!

Wednesday. April 15th

 

 

 

Betty and Henriette volunteer with St. Anne’s Parish. Once a month they bring snacks and play BINGO, which is a huge hit with everyone! They also help bake cookies and help stuff envelopes. Wow!
Tuesday, April 14th

Whitney is one of our lovely volunteers. She comes weekly to help out with our lunch meal!

To finish off National Volunteer Week, we would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our amazing volunteers!! All the work that volunteers do here (behind the scenes or otherwise), impacts every aspect of our client’s lives, and every part of our organization. Our volunteers go above and beyond, we could not do this without you!

If you would like to volunteer at the Lighthouse email volunteer@lighthousesaskatoon.org or fill out the volunteer application.

Top 5 tips on helping Panhandlers in Saskatoon

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How should people handle panhandling in Saskatoon? The issue has come to the forefront in the media in the past couple of weeks, with many people weighing in. A 2011 article in the Atlantic stated:

I’m certain that there are some cases where donations to an especially needy beggar are justified. But the ultimate danger in panhandling is that we don’t give to every beggar. There’s not enough change in our purses. We choose to donate money based on the level of perceived need. Beggars known this, so there is an incentive on their part to exaggerate their need, by either lying about their circumstances or letting their appearance visibly deteriorate rather than seek help.

If we drop change in a beggar’s hand without donating to a charity, we’re acting to relieve our guilt rather than underlying crisis of poverty. The same calculus applies to the beggar who relies on panhandling for a booze hit. In short, both sides fail each other by being lured into fleeting sense of relief rather than a lasting solution to the structural problem of homelessness.

Here are a few suggestions for a response the next time a panhandler asks you for money:

1. Acknowledge and Engage

  • Smile and actually say hello. Go out of your way to approach rather than avoid panhandlers.
  • Engage the person by starting a conversation. Take time to listen.

2. Don’t give money

  • Ask what their greatest need is. In most cases, meeting the immediate need of food or clothing is best.
  • Offer an alternative. Socks, underwear, toiletry items including toothbrushes and toothpaste, bottled water, granola bars or gift certificates for food can help address immediate needs.

3. Invite BhcmBegCcAAxpIX

  • If you want to help a panhandler or homeless person get back on their feet, you can point them to the Lighthouse or other service agency aimed at lifting people out of poverty. Since 1997 we have provided long-term housing for those who have experienced homelessness in Saskatoon.
  • If they are in immediate distress you can call the Lighthouse Mobile Outreach at 306-653-0538. They can transport them to a safe space.

4. Donate 

  • Many organizations are working together to end homelessness in Saskatoon including the Lighthouse, the Friendship Inn, the Bridge, Salvation Army, and the Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre and many more. These organizations are able to increase their levels of support and programming through your donations of money and goods. To donate to the Lighthouse click here.

5. Volunteer

  • If you volunteer, not only do you give back to the community and help those in need but by sharing your experience you can help eliminate misconceptions and stereotypes. Gather a group of friends and start a clothing or non-perishable food drive, host a fundraising event, or volunteer at the Lighthouse Cameco Community Kitchen or other local organizations.

In Orlando, Florida, the Central Florida Regional Commission took another approach to panhandling. They asked people who where panhandling what the people who passed them everyday might not know about them. The end result was a video that is truly eye-opening.

If you have a story of helping a panhandler in a non-traditional way, please let us know in the comments!

Saskatoon organizations receive funding to fight homelessness

Via Eagle Feather News

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Gaps in services mean that many people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness in Saskatoon are tragically falling through the cracks. Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) and the Community Advisory Board on Saskatoon Homelessness (CAB-SH) are proud to announce new services and supports for individuals and families who face homelessness which will fill these gaps.

The Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) aims to prevent and reduce homelessness across Canada. The HPS program is generously providing $464,734 for these important capital and service projects:

1. The Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre will receive $35,306 in capital funding to renovate their client meeting space and lobby.

2. The Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. will receive $55,941 in capital funding to develop a bed bug heating chamber and renovate the laundry facilities for their supported living clients.

3. The Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre in partnership with the Friendship Inn will receive $223,526 in multi-year funding for three new staff positions to address homelessness. Two Rapid Rehousing Case Managers and one Centralized Intake staff person will assess needs and support individuals and families to find housing, access income supports and work towards housing stability. The Centralized Intake position will serve clients who may be referred to a number of appropriate services, including Housing First case management.

4. The Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. will receive $150,261 in multi-year funding for a Housing Locator position to help locate and secure housing for Housing First and non-Housing First clients in Saskatoon.

FullSizeRender (6)“Our Government is proud to support the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership and its partners, The Lighthouse Supported Living and the Saskatoon Indian Métis Friendship Centre, and all the work they do in Saskatoon,” said Kelly Block, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Saskatoon–Rosetown–Biggar. “With a roof over their heads, all Canadians can prosper as we work together towards eliminating homelessness.”

The four new staff positions will work collaboratively with Housing First case managers at Crisis Intervention Services, as well as other community agencies that provide case management and support to people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.

“Our organization has witnessed the tremendous difficulty people experience when trying to find housing they can afford, especially when they move into Saskatoon for the first time,” says Bill Mintram, Executive Director of the Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre. “We are hopeful that the new staff will be able to assess the need, redirect people out of shelters and provide real support to secure permanent housing.”

Sandra Stack, Executive Director of the Friendship Inn, sees this work as a whole community effort:

“Providing housing to a homeless person or family is grounding. From a place of stability, they can tackle other issues. We are very excited to be in collaboration with the Friendship Centre and our other community partners to fill these critical gaps in support. My hope is that the community as a whole, Saskatoon citizens as neighbours and landlords, will be supportive and as excited as we are about reducing homelessness.”

These investments at the Lighthouse that will have a significant impact on the quality of life for Lighthouse residents and those who have experienced homelessness in Saskatoon, says Don Windels, Executive Director of the Lighthouse Supported Living Inc.

“The Housing Locator is a key part of Housing First, finding appropriate housing for some of the most vulnerable, high-needs and at-risk individuals in our community.”