The Lighthouse Supported Living Annual General Meeting is tomorrow, March 29th at 7:00pm in the Lighthouse dining room. 304 2nd Ave S, entrance is on 20th St. We will share about the work done by the Lighthouse including expansion of services and uplifting stories of lives changed in 2015. All are welcome to attend.
Dogs aren’t just household pets anymore. A research project between three Canadian universities — including the U of S — is studying the effects dogs have on people with mental illness through therapy and counselling. We love having these dogs come and visit with us!
The Therapy Dogs visit many organizations in Saskatoon, and visit the Lighthouse every second Tuesday just after supper. They bring such joy to the Lighthouse – we even get requests for cats!
Thank you Saskatoon CTV for doing the story, St John’s Ambulance for running the program and thanks to our clients who share why they love having the dogs come and visit.
Released on November 20, 2015
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.
“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.”
“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.
Since 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.
Feet are not for everyone, especially caring for feet. But having healthy feet is vital for anyone who wants to get from point A to point B. It’s not something we think about when we’re young, but as we get older, foot care becomes an important part of maintaining mobility. Nicole Masson-Greenhorn is a registered nurse for the Victorian Order of Nurses, and specializes in foot care. She came to The Lighthouse last week for her first drop-in foot clinic.
“It went well,” says Masson-Greenhorn, “I wasn’t sure what to expect for feet, but everybody I saw needed foot care, from super long toe nails to a little bit of teaching about foot care. Although feet are usually a lower priority, everybody who was diabetic seemed to know that feet are important, which I really like to see.”
The Victorian Order of Nurses is a charitable organization which was founded in 1896. It was originally started as a group of travelling nurses who would visit isolated communities in Canada to provide health care. In 1898, a VON cottage hospital was opened in Regina to provide care to pioneers and early settlers on the prairies. Over the next century, the order grew into a leading charitable organization, providing home care, education and health services across the country.
“In Saskatoon our role is foot care, so we go to all the nursing homes, people’s homes and hospitals to do feet. My job is foot care five days a week,” explains Masson-Greenhorn, “we do the flu programs, wellness clinics, we do some drug programs, teaching people to self-administer meds that are injectable, but our major role is foot care.”
As a registered nurse, Masson-Greenhorn always starts off with an assessment of her patient’s feet. She looks at what kind of shoes and socks they normally wear, as well as inspects their circulation and color. The next step is to, “cut and file toe nails, if people have corns or calluses we can file those as well. And then depending on what people have, if they have paralysis on one side or diabetes, we assess how that affects the foot and how can we keep it healthier.”
This kind of health care is vital to Lighthouse clients because many homeless individuals are forced to walk long distances every day to find food, shelter and access services in Saskatoon. Masson-Greenhorn understands that her patients have other health concerns, but wants to emphasize the importance of foot care, “People concentrate on high blood pressure, and they concentrate on insulin and all those things are important, but we want to focus on the feet and make sure that people can walk as well as they can and deal with issues. ”
It’s especially important for people with diabetes to be aware of their feet, due to their changing level of blood sugar that can damage nerves and lead to loss of feeling. This can cause something like a cut to go unnoticed and become infected, sometimes resulting in amputation. Masson-Greenhorn’s goal is to catch this before it even starts.
The Lighthouse hopes to take advantage of funding and have a foot care specialist come in once a month for a drop-in clinic. In the meantime, clients are advised to change into a clean pair of socks every day and wear proper fitting, supportive shoes.
Thank you to the Third Avenue United Church Community Fund for their generous donation to The Lighthouse. They set aside some money from the sale of their beautiful church to put back into the community. We are grateful to have them as donors!