We have more people sleeping under our roof than ever before – 216 individuals. Here is a trip around the Lighthouse from last night.
New shelter opens
Published Thursday, July 18, 2013 12:10PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, July 18, 2013 12:13PM CST
A new shelter that opened today is the first of its kind in Saskatoon.
Called the Stabilization Emergency Shelter, it’s a 20-bed facility at the Lighthouse in downtown Saskatoon. It’s designed for men and women who need a place to stay — but who may also be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Saskatoon already has a brief detox centre, but space is limited, and it’s mainly designed for people who need medical intervention.
The new shelter is for people who are homeless and may be under the influence – but don’t need medical attention.
It’s being funded by the federal government. Staff at the 20-bed dorm-style facility are trained to work with people who are under the influence.
Police say it will help take some of the pressure off police cells.
“It could mean up to two or three-thousand fewer people coming into our detention cells at the Saskatoon Police Service,” said Saskatoon Police Chief Clive Weighill. “We’ve had people that we’ve housed 80, 90 times within a year.”
Clients are not allowed to bring alcohol or drugs into the shelter – but it does give them a safe place to stay.
“We know homelessness is often connected with mental illness, and substance abuse,” said Tracy Mugglie, head of Mental Health and Addiction services for the Saskatoon Health Region.
“Working with the Lighthouse will help reduce health disparity for these vulnerable members of the community.”
It’s also hoped support provided by the shelter will help people stabilize their lives, and move into housing.
For our Heads Up Radio-thon in June, three of our tenants volunteered to tell their story anonymously on the radio, so listeners could hear first hand about what it was like to stay in the Lighthouse emergency shelter. In the following audio clips, Lighthouse clients share how their lives have been impacted by having stable, supportive housing in a caring, non-judgmental community.
These clients who generously shared their stories now live in the Dube Lighthouse Tower which encompasses our supported living suites. All three have experienced housing difficulties in the past, and are candid about the challenges that led them to staying in the emergency shelter.
Since these were originally aired during the Radiothon, they have the same short introduction. They were only briefly heard on the radio so we decided to post them on our blog as well.
Benny’s shares his story about struggling to make ends meet and not wanting to be a part of social services or institutions. Unfortunately this led to him not having a place to call home. After a stay in our emergency shelter, Benny moved into his own suite here at the Lighthouse. Listen to his story here: [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://www.lighthousesaskatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/BB.mp3″]
Jamie is a young man who previously lived on the streets and in Mental Health group homes. A recent highlight for Jamie was when he got to go on a day-trip with other tenants out of Saskatoon. Jaime was very excited that he got to go canoeing and got to have some treats from the convenience store. His favourite part of living at the Lighthouse is the food. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://www.lighthousesaskatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/JJ.mp3″]
After a motor vehicle accident, Marie needed help living independently, and the Lighthouse’s Supported Living suites were the perfect answer. Marie is very appreciative of her suite here but also stresses the need for a renovation. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://www.lighthousesaskatoon.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/SQ.mp3″]
If you would like to come for a tour or learn more about the Lighthouse call DeeAnn at 306-653-0538 or email email@example.com. If you would like to donate to the Lighthouse Capital Campaign visit: www.upsaskatoon.ca.
On June 19th, United Way held their annual Day of Caring in which volunteer groups from local businesses join together with non-profit organizations to have a work be on a specific project.
The Lighthouse was paired with an energetic and hard-working team from Mosaic, who decided to give our men’s emergency shelter a makeover. They gave the dorm a thorough cleaning, painted the wall, the bases of the beds, bought fresh bedding and pillows, and hung sports Jerseys on the wall. It was great to make our men’s shelter into a more masculine, relaxing, home-y space.
For many of the gentlemen who stay in our emergency shelter they have exhausted all other options of places to stay. They may arrive traumatized or severely broken. Circumstances in their life may have suddenly changed due to mental or physical health challenges, lost of a job, or changes stemming from their current place of residence.
The Lighthouse works to build them back up again by starting with a good night’s sleep in a safe place, a hot meal, and a warm bed. From there we work to access next steps so they can have a place to call home again. Some of the people who stay in our shelter may need help to live independently and for them we offer our supported living suites. Other may need a landlord to take a chance on them and qualify for our affordable housing suites. Still other men may just need a brief place to stay before the find appropriate housing in the wider community.
Thank you so much to the Mosaic crew for all their hard work. Their spirit of generosity and willingness to give back to those less fortunate in our community really humbled the Lighthouse staff and clients.
Thanks also to the United Way for coordinating the Day of Caring. Last year our women’s shelter received a makeover during the Day of Caring, and we are already looking forward to next year! To learn more about United Way’s Day of Caring visit: http://www.unitedwaysaskatoon.ca/news.php.
Our Heads Up Radio-thon in support of the Lighthouse Capital Campaign on June 12th, 2013 was an amazing success thanks to our sponsors, volunteers, and donors! Together we raised over $238,000 towards renovating the Dube Lighthouse (formally the Capri Hotel) and to expand our emergency shelter capacity and programming space.
Thank you to our generous donors. The Lighthouse was overwhelmed with your spirit of giving to those in need in Saskatoon.
We have over 60 volunteers help out from 6:00 am in the morning to 6:00 pm. Moms allowed their kids to skip class to help wave signs, serve coffee, and collect donations.
Thank you to these amazing volunteers:
We couldn’t do it with out all of your support. Together we are building people up!