Archive | November, 2013

Kyle Kehoe – Donor Story

Kyle was inspired to contribute after a tour of the Lighthouse. We encourage anyone who has questions about the services the Lighthouse provides, the Up Capital Campaign, or the progress of the renovations to come down and see our facility. Please call ahead so one of our staff members can show you around!  Thank you to Kyle Kehoe for his donation!

photo (13)When I toured the Lighthouse, I saw so many people in Saskatoon who have nowhere to live, nowhere to go and nothing to eat.  I saw people coming in off the streets and having their needs met by a supportive, caring and well trained staff.  The people living at the Lighthouse have the opportunity to be a part of a community where not only are their basic needs being met, but where they are offered additional supports to help get their lives back on track.  I believe that the Lighthouse is filling an area of need in our community and doing truly great work . I am pleased to be in the position to support the Lighthouse and to help those in need.

– Kyle Kehoe


Thank you so much to the Kyle Kehoe! If you would like to make a donation call DeeAnn at 306-653-0538 or donate online here.

Sherri and Randy Singler – Donor Story

Sherri and Randy Singler are proud supporters of the Lighthouse Up Capital Campaign which is raising funds to expand the Lighthouse’s emergency shelters, renovate the supported living suites, and add much needed programming and classroom space. Thank you so much to Sherri and Randy for their gift to the Lighthouse!


Sherri and I were part of the tour with DeeAnn and the Lighthouse Capital Campaign team, we were very inspired about the progress of the Lighthouse and what it is offering to Saskatoon and the community.  We believe as Saskatoon grows there is going to be a large need for the Lighthouse and the services offered. The expansion and renewal at The Lighthouse is an important project for Saskatoon and we are very pleased to help out in any way that we can.

– Randy Singler


Thank you so much to the Singler’s! If you would like to make a donation call DeeAnn at 306-653-0538 or donate online here.

Giving Runs in the Family – The Forster Donor Story

Clint & Carole Forster photo2

Saskatoon and Saskatchewan are among the best areas in the world to live. This becomes clear when travelling to other countries and cities where the level of poverty and the number of destitute people is overwhelming. For the majority of Saskatoon citizens life is pleasant.

Unfortunately this is not the case for a number of people in the city. Some people need help. Some people have life challenges that are beyond their ability to rise to self sufficiency without community help. Mental illness, physical disability, addiction, illiteracy and life skill problems force many to the streets and incredible hardship.

Most are not lazy people wanting only to live on hand outs. Many deserve a “hand up” and wish to move to a better life. Many street people deserve a chance for a better life and that is where the LIGHTHOUSE comes into play.

Carole and I are grateful that we have the ability to offer financial help to establish and operate the Lighthouse. Many Saskatoon people have contributed to the establishment of the Lighthouse and we know more will help, with their donations, to complete this very worthy and needed Saskatoon facility.

–Clint Forster

Powerful words needing no introduction. Thank you Clint and Carole Forster for your extraordinary donation and your lovely message. The Forster’s were one of the first major gifts given to the Up Capital Campaign, pledging $100,000 at the Lighthouse Radiothon in June. They have contributed to many worthy causes and have spend countless hours volunteering and advocating for causes they believe in. Their passion for helping others has continued on in their children and grandchildren who have volunteered at the Lighthouse as well.

If you would like to donate to the Lighthouse Up Capital Campaign click here, or call 306-653-0538.

Sangster Family – Donor Story

The Sangster family gives to the Lighthouse is many ways. Their donation towards the Up Capital Campaign speaks of their amazing generosity; their ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of those staying at the Lighthouse shows their belief that healthy living is a right for all people. Cindy Sangster often pops in with nutritious goodies for those who may have limited resources. The Sangsters provide weekly donations of nourishing baby-food, organic cereal, and gluten-free baking ingredients, giving Lighthouse clients healthy eating options and help providing for growing families.



“We are extremely fortunate, both personally and professionally to be given an opportunity to help those in need within our community. The Lighthouse provides a local, safe, and warm place of shelter for those in need which are values that we share.  Through our introduction to the Lighthouse and our locally supported businesses at Sangster’s Health Centres & Sangster’s Organic Markets, we are proud to help those in need within our community. Personally, we believe that giving fosters the seeds needed for the continued development of a strong local community. Our healthy lifestyle businesses have allowed us to offer quality nutrition to those within our community.  Life has a way of going full circle and we couldn’t be happier to be given the opportunity to help those in Saskatoon who need a helping hand or those who need to know that someone out there cares. On behalf of Sangster’s Health Centres, Sangster’s Organic Markets, Canadian Bio Supplements and our family, we believe in the morals and direction of the Saskatoon Lighthouse and we couldn’t be happier to help in any way we can.”

– Cindy Sangster


Thank you so much to Darryl, Cindy, Jordan, Madison & Makayla Sangster! If you would like to make a donation to the Lighthouse, visit or call 306-653-0538.

A glimpse at Saskatoon’s first shelter for drunk people

A glimpse at Saskatoon's first shelter for drunk people

One of the beds is in use at the Lighthouse.

Photograph by: Gord Waldner, The Starphoenix , The Starphoenix

The sun is still up, and Geoff is already so drunk he can barely stand.

Somehow, he’s found his way to Lighthouse Supported Living’s stabilization unit, a place where he can sleep it off. Geoff, who is homeless, has come here every evening for weeks now. It’s the only shelter in the city that will accept him when he’s drunk.

“I’m worse than I usually am. I’m bad,” he says, as he steadies himself on a chair at the front of the room. Behind him, 20 beds are lined up in rows. By midnight, they will likely be filled.

Before this place opened in July, men and women who were drunk or high were often taken to city police detention cells, emergency rooms or the health region’s Brief and Social Detox Unit. In October alone, the new Lighthouse unit drew more than 400 visits.

Police say they’ve seen a 30 per cent reduction in the number of intoxicated arrests coming into their detention unit since the Lighthouse beds opened.

Now, the Lighthouse unit has extended its hours to meet the growing demand.

“I just drink because, for myself, there is no alternative,” Geoff says.

Geoff is interviewed by Liz Wymer, one of two workers who staff the Lighthouse’s 4 p.m. to midnight shift. The staff members are there to make sure he doesn’t need medical attention, that he is not suicidal, and that he will survive the night. As long as they can wake up and go to the bathroom on their own, clients are usually cleared to stay.

On this particular evening, another worker, Sam Tait, calls the mobile crisis unit because Geoff makes a comment about suicide during his interview. A crisis worker will visit Geoff before the evening is over. Until then, Tait and Wymer will keep a special eye on him.

“We’re glad you made it here,” Wymer tells him before Geoff takes off his sweater, shoes and socks and puts them in a bin. His sweater is covered with dirt from slipping on the ice outside. The workers will wash his clothes while he sleeps it off.

The unit is open daily from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m., but workers and others who deal with the intoxicated people daily say it would be used if it was open even longer.

“The level of intoxication has really built up from the hours of 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.,” Lesley Prefontaine, who is in charge of the city’s new community support officers, told a meeting earlier this week. The CSOs, who patrol the downtown, Riversdale and Broadway areas, regularly encounter drunk or passed out people.

The old protocol was to take them to the health region’s detox unit or call police. Since the Lighthouse beds opened, Prefontaine and her team have been referring people there instead.

The new extended hours are the direct result of demand for shelter beds that can accept intoxicated people.

“It was used 404 times in October, which is just an unbelievable amount,” said Dee-Ann Mercier, spokeswoman for the shelter. “It’s something that is actually going to save people’s lives.”

The federal government’s Homeless Partnering Strategy program gave the stabilization shelter more than $200,000 for its first year of operations and $198,848 to renovate a permanent space.

The Saskatoon Health Region and the Saskatoon Police Service are also providing some financial support, but Mercier said most of the funding is limited to a oneyear pilot project.

It would be better to keep the Lighthouse unit open 24 hours a day, but it needs permanent funding, she said. “Police are responding to these calls all day, not just at night … There is a big cost to having in 24-hour facility, but it would be worth it.”

Back at the unit, Sam Tait explains that the beds are more than a safe place for drunk people to sleep.

“More than these beds, these guys need compassion,” he says.

“We try to develop a relationship with them over time, so that if you catch them in the right moment, you can get through to them.”

By suppertime, Geoff is ready for a long night’s sleep. He slips into the donated clothes the shelter provides and finds his favourite bed.

“I just went over the edge this afternoon. I just need a place to stabilize. As soon as I stabilize myself, I’ll be better,” he says.

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