Hours Expanded at the Lighthouse Stabilization Unit Pilot Project

Just in time for tIMG_9021he cold weather the Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. has reached a donation milestone enabling the expansion of the hours of their Mobile Outreach for an additional two hours, now running from 4:00pm to 10:00pm. The Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. is a non-profit housing provider offering emergency shelter, supported living and affordable housing for those in need. The LMO teams engage homeless and street entrenched individuals for the purpose of assessing need and then assisting them in accessing shelter, health services, and various social services.

The Lighthouse Mobile Outreach (LMO) service began on February 18, 2014. Since that time two Lighthouse staff, using a refurbished ambulance have been out in the community of Saskatoon between the hours of 5:00pm until 9:00pm, seven days a week.

“The Mobile Outreach was receiving many calls to transport individuals during the day but we did not previously have the resources to run it for longer hours,” said Dennis Bueckert, Director of Client Services at the Lighthouse. “Ideally we would like to see the Mobile Outreach available for those in need 24 hours a day. These additional two hours are an important step in the right direction.”IMG_9228

“It is really thanks to the community we are able to expand this service,” said DeeAnn Mercier, Director of Fundraising and Communications for the Lighthouse. “All funds collected through The Amazing Race – Lighthouse Edition went towards the Mobile Outreach as well as recent donations from churches, foundations, and many individuals.”

From its inception in February over 700 individuals have been assisted via the Mobile Outreach. Averaging 10 service encounters per night over the first 6 months, there were 1724 person-service encounters. Of those served there was a 4 to 1 male/female ratio.

IMG_9030LMO contacts occur because of calls received regarding vulnerable individuals needing assistance. Additionally, many contacts are made by LMO staff initiating contact while out on the street or by individuals themselves approaching them directly.

In the first few months after LMO service began, the heaviest proportion (40%) of requests for service came from Brief and Social Detox (BSD). Also during the initial months, local residents/businesses accounted for another 30% of requests on average. These two sources of referral have diminished significantly to where in May, June and July, Brief and Social Detox accounted for only 8% and requests from local residents/businesses has become negligible. By contrast, “street level” contacts have grown from very few to now constituting upwards of 68% of the total requests. This is indicative of the LMO team’s successes in establishing trust with vulnerable, unstably housed or homeless individuals and of their effectiveness in diverting them into more appropriate shelter.

Most LMO client contacts in the community involve relationship building, personal support, providing service information and sometimes providing food, water or socks. A good number of the requests result in transportation to access services.

Two thirds of all LMO referral are for the Lighthouse Stabilization Unit’s (LSU) services. General shelter, LSU services and BDU services accounted for 43% of all support services which LMO helped 50% of all transported individuals to the LSU, 10% to other Lighthouse Shelters, 9% went to Brief and Social Detox. Of all referrals, 10-15% were for assistance in accessing medical facilities or medical services.

The Lighthouse Mobile Outreach vehicle was purchased thanks to funds from the Saskatoon Community Foundation, with support for staffing from the Communities Initiatives Fund and the RUH Foundation Community Mental Health Endowment Granting Program.

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Community Initiatives Funds

 

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Your donations make a difference! Please consider becoming a monthly donor to keep initiatives like the Mobile Outreach on the road. 

Support from BATC Community Development Corporation announced for Lighthouse Supported Living Emergency Shelter to open in North Battleford

The BATC Community Development Corporation (BATC CDC) announced today a grant of $275,000 to the Lighthouse Supported Living for the development of a new emergency shelter in North Battleford. A cheque presentation today at 11 am welcomed the Lighthouse to the Battlefords.

Left to Right: Yourself, Chief Lori Whitecalf of Sweetgrass First Nation, Mayor Ian Hamilton, Chief Dan Starchief of Mosquito First Nation, Don, Kelly Atcheynum - General Manager, Gold Eagle Casino, Oscar Gopher - Councillor for Saulteaux First Nation. Please have Chief Ben Weenie acknowledged for his prayers. (Chief Whitecalf, Chief Starchief, and Councillor Gopher are members of the BATC CDC Board of Directors. Thank you, Vivian

Left to Right: DeeAnn Mercier – Lighthouse Communications Directior, Chief Lori Whitecalf of Sweetgrass First Nation, Mayor Ian Hamilton, Chief Dan Starchief of Mosquito First Nation, Don Windels – Lighthouse Executive Director, Kelly Atcheynum – General Manager, Gold Eagle Casino, Oscar Gopher – Councillor for Saulteaux First Nation. Thank you to Chief Ben Weenie for his prayers. (Chief Whitecalf, Chief Starchief, and Councillor Gopher are members of the BATC CDC Board of Directors.)

The Lighthouse will be providing emergency shelter for those experiencing homelessness, 3 meals a day for those who are staying there, and programming and support to help individuals find and retain housing in the Battlefords.FullSizeRender

“When a group from the Battlefords approached the Lighthouse to inquire what steps were needed to secure a 24-hour emergency shelter, it seemed like a natural fit for the Lighthouse to be the organization that lead the project,” Executive Director of the Lighthouse Supported Living, Don Windels said. “Our work in Saskatoon running an emergency shelter and Stabilization Unit has prepared us for some of the issues we know individuals are experiencing in the Battlefords.”

“BATC CDC is pleased to a part of an initiative that meets our vision of supporting the development of healthy communities,” Chairperson of BATC CDC, Neil Sasakamoose said.  “The Lighthouse will provide a safe and warm environment at any hour, on any given day, especially in our winter months.”

“To have a facility that will provide support and resources to the people of our First Nations, the Battlefords and surrounding communities, will only be a benefit,” said Chief Lori Whitecalf of Sweetgrass First Nation. Chief Whitecalf is a Board of Director with BATC CDC and is also the Tribal Chair for Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs.

The Lighthouse has already purchased a property in downtown North Battleford for use as a shelter but the building requires extensive upgrades including a proper fire suppression system. The shelter expects to open its doors to those who are homeless or struggle to find a safe place to live in November. The grand opening of the Lighthouse Supported Living Emergency Shelter in North Battleford will be announced at a later date.

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A men’s and women’s dorm as well as a separate area for those who are intoxicated will be in the facility, as well as rooms for families. Admission to the shelter will be denied to highly intoxicated and/or violent individuals who may pose a threat to themselves or others. In those cases, the police will be called.

The Lighthouse currently operates an emergency shelter for men and women, supported living suites, and independent affordable housing suites in Saskatoon. Additionally, the Lighthouse opened a Stabilization Unit last summer for those who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs to provide a safe, supervised place to sleep.

About BATC Community Development Corporation:

BATC Community Development Corporation (BATC CDC) is responsible for distributing a portion of the Gold Eagle Casino profits by providing financial support to non-profit and charitable organizations. Our area of support includes the Battlefords and surrounding communities, the First Nations within Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs and Battlefords Tribal Council, and several independent First Nations. BATC CDC continually meets its vision of supporting the development the healthy communities, by implementing the core value, “improving the quality of life”.

To see pictures from the announcement click here. To donate towards the Battlefords Emergency Shelter click here.

For more information, contact:

 

DeeAnn Mercier

The Lighthouse Supported Living Inc.

Email: deeann.mercier@lighthousesaskatoon.org

 

 

Vivian Whitecalf, General Manager

BATC Community Development Corporation

Email: vivian.whitecalf@batc.ca

 

 

Amazing Amount Raised!!

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22 teams participated in the first Amazing Race – Lighthouse Edition and challenged their friends, family and co-workers to pledge towards their team. Over a dozen mini-challenges through out the downtown encouraged teams to work together and learn about various organization and non-profits in downtown Saskatoon.

For more pictures of the event please see click here. Thank you to Patti Timmerman for her photography and Bob Holtsam for editing and posting.

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Our 30 volunteers came with their enthusiasm and community-spirit. A great thank you goes to you as well!

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We could not have done this without various host locations around downtown Saskatoon including Persephone Theatre, the Saskatoon Food Bank, the Clothing Depot, Freedom Functional Fitnessthe Downtown Firehall, and Booster Juice in Midtown Plaza. Their willingness to have 45 people compete in their facility was greatly appreciated.

Our sponsors donated prizes, in-kind and monetary donations. Community partners are what allow us to put on events like this.

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Team Divorce Divas raised the most amount of funds and received two tickets to anywhere WestJet flies. Our winning team of the competition was Team Tatlow from PA, followed closely by Team Extreme and Team SBC Recess Guardians.

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All funds raise are going towards the Lighthouse Mobile Outreach which transports individuals in need of emergency shelter. Winter will soon be upon us and a safe, warm place because life saving to those we serve. Thank you so much for your support!!

Seeking Teams for the Amazing Race!!

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Sign up your team for the Amazing Race – Lighthouse Edition. Teams of two will compete in mini challenges in downtown Saskatoon with an after-celebration at Hudson’s. The top fundraising team will receive two tickets anywhere WestJet flies and the winning team will receive a prize pack including a two nights stay at the Lost Creek Resort in Saskatoon! We hope that you will join us!!

Thank you so much to our amazing sponsors:

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Lighthouse staff warning clients of recent violence

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Outreach workers say they found him on the ground, surrounded by a puddle of urine.

The homeless man, a regular at The Lighthouse stabilization shelter, was located by workers driving the shelter’s outreach van, which patrols the streets and helps bring people in need back to the shelter.

When the workers asked him what happened, the man told them someone had beaten him up and urinated on him.

“He was very embarrassed about it. Our staff were very upset,” said DeeAnn Mercier, a spokesperson for the Lighthouse Supported Living.

“This is preying on people who are some of the most disadvantaged.”

Mercier said the apparently unprovoked attack on a homeless man last Tuesday is a just one of several cases staff at the shelter have encountered this year. The man would not consent to an interview, and staff would not give his name.

City police say they have not seen any increase in reports of violence against homeless or marginalized people. The urination incident last week was not reported, Insp. Mitch Yuzdepski said Tuesday.

“Definitely if something is happening to our homeless population, we want to know about it,” he said.

“We are trying to get beyond the staff and find out, if there are victims, why are they not reporting these incidents to police.”

Yuzdepski said a homeless person was the victim of an aggravated assault on June 28. The man was found on the 300 block of Avenue F South. He was badly beaten and police are still searching for suspects.

Yuzdepski said that one reported case is no cause for alarm.

Mercier said Lighthouse staff have been talking to police about the increased violence they are seeing. She said homeless or disadvantaged people aren’t always comfortable reporting to police.

“It’s especially heartbreaking when they themselves don’t have the courage to complain to anybody or to talk to police because they don’t think their complaints will matter,” Mercier said.

Yuzdepski said patrol officers are talking to people at the Lighthouse and trying to learn more about the alleged assaults.

cthamilton @thestarphoenix.com Twitter.com/_chamilton