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Lighthouse Stabilization and Wellness Centre Officially Opens in Saskatoon

Released on November 20, 2015

An innovative wellness center at The Lighthouse Supported Living (Lighthouse) officially opened today in Saskatoon.  The shelter will provide an alternative for manageably intoxicated individuals who are unable to access other shelter services.Part of the funding is also being used to renovate 59 existing units in the Dubé Lighthouse that provides housing for close to 70 individuals.   The Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. operates the Dubé Lighthouse facility.

The total cost of this project is $4 million.  Funding of $1.5 million from the government was provided by the Ministry of Health ($1 million), the Ministry of Justice ($250,000), and the Ministry of Social Services through the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation ($250,000).  The City of Saskatoon contributed $126,000 toward the project and additional funding was provided through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and other fundraising.

IMG_0163“Our government is proud to work with Lighthouse to help vulnerable citizens in this community have improved access to a safe place to live with supports in place if required,” Social Services Minister and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Donna Harpauer said.  “This aligns with a number of priorities outlined in our Provincial Housing Strategy, which includes supporting individuals and families in greatest housing need.  These two initiatives are examples of that vision in action.”

“We are pleased to see the completion of the Lighthouse Stabilization and Wellness Centre project in Saskatoon,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said.  “We are proud to support our community partners like Lighthouse, who are reaching out into communities to help people improve and maintain their health and wellbeing.   This project also supports the recommendations in the Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan, specifically ensuring that individuals with addictions issues have access to timely and appropriate care.”

IMG_0168“Our ministry is proud to partner in upgrading this valuable community facility,” Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said.  “We know how important it is that places like the Dubé Lighthouse exist to provide shelter and housing for vulnerable individuals who require extra support.”

“We are grateful to the many community members who came together to volunteer and donate toward the ‘Up’ Capital Campaign, Les and Irene Dubé who led with an amazing gift of $1 million, and the Provincial Government for seeing the value in this project,” Lighthouse Executive Director Don Windels said.  “We are thankful the expanded Stabilization Unit will be operational before this winter so we can continue to provide emergency shelter to those in need in our community.”

The project features a stabilization shelter with approximately 38 beds for individuals who are manageably intoxicated.   The second floor provides programming and office space, and the third floor features a wellness center with exercise facilities and atrium.

IMG_0166Since November 2007, 167 affordable rental units have been completed by the province for those considered ‘hard to house’ and facing multiple challenges such as disabilities and addictions in Saskatoon.  Including the Lighthouse, an additional 40 units are currently under construction.

The Lighthouse provides housing for approximately 230 individuals on any given day.   It provides 126 permanent housing units and about 94 emergency shelter spaces for vulnerable individuals, including the working poor, people with physical or intellectual disabilities, and people with addictions.

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Assisted living centre gets tax money for renovation, new unit

Reported by Bryn Levy
First Posted: Apr 11, 2014 4:03pm | Last Updated: Apr 11, 2014 5:00pm

A commitment from the provincial government means a major facelift for the Lighthouse Supported Living facility in downtown Saskatoon.

Health minister Dustin Duncan was on hand to announce $1.5 million in funding from the Government of Saskatchewan.

“It’s just a very worthwhile program and organization that’s been serving the people of Saskatoon for many years,” Duncan said.

The money caps a $4 million fundraising blitz started by the Lighthouse 11 months ago. A portion will go towards renovations to the facility, which provides housing to about 70 people in what was formerly the Capri Hotel.

The Lighthouse’s DeeAnne Mercier said the renovation will bring the building “into this century.”

“We’re going to be taking out the carpeting, re-doing the drywall, re-doing the plumbing, re-doing the bathroom fixtures. Making accessible doorways for people. Just those little things that are so important when you want to provide a safe home for people,” Mercier said.

Another piece of the project will see the construction of a 38-bed stabilisation unit.  The new unit will provide temporary emergency shelter to people who may be too intoxicated to be housed elsewhere.

Tracy Muggli is director of mental health and addictions services for the Saskatoon Health Region. She said the new unit will help reduce costly emergency room visits when the region’s eight bed Brief Detox Unit (BDU) fills up.

“We know that we can provide shelter services for far less. And, it’s a far more appropriate placement for people that are struggling,” she said.

For the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS), the issue of where to house intoxicated people is particularly important.

The service was rocked by three deaths in its holding cells back in 2010, and has been pushing to get out of the business of being the city’s housing of last resort ever since.

“We did have three in-custody deaths within a short period of time. And nobody wants to see that, whether it be in cells, whether it be in a park, or in your own home,” said Inspector Larry Vols, who heads up the SPS Headquarters Division.

Vols said the new unit will be another step in relieving pressure on the holding cells.

“People that need housing, that need other assistance, don’t need to be in our cells. We’re happy to see that there’s money being put aside for them,” he said.

Grant McGrath – Donor Story

Thank you to Grant McGrath for his donation to the Lighthouse Up Capital Campaign. Grant is the chair of the governing board of the Plan to End Homelessness in Saskatoon and as such, has been working to connect and advocate for agencies working with those who suffer from a lack of appropriate housing. His leadership will benefit the most vulnerable in our community with the goal to find long-term, sustainable housing.

The Lighthouse will continue to play a key role in ending homelessness in Saskatoon by housing those who need extra support to reach their highest level of independence. The Lighthouse is thankful for Grant’s support as we seek to renovate our supported living suites, and expand our programs and services.

Grant

“As a community we can no longer accept homelessness as inevitable for any of our neighbors. The Lighthouse Supported Living provides emergency shelter, supported living, and affordable housing to those who face significant housing challenges in our community.  The work of the Lighthouse will be instrumental in our community’s quest to end homelessness in Saskatoon. After touring the Lighthouse with Don and DeeAnn, I am more than convinced that The Lighthouse is deserving of my financial support.”

–Grant McGrath

President

Western Sales (1986) Ltd

Thank you so much to the Grant McGrath! You too can make a difference in your community. Donate online to the Lighthouse by clicking here.