The Lighthouse provides emergency shelter for Saskatoon’s women in a recently built dorm. This emergency shelter is for women who have no where to call home or their living situation is such that it is safer for them to be in a shelter. The causes range from people who have just had a bad series of events set them back financially, domestic violence to a series of concurrent disorders. They are given a safe place to sleep, a place to store belongings and supports to help them find employment (if needed) and long term housing that is safe and sustainable.
The women’s emergency shelter has a total of 20 beds. Upon admission women are shown their bed for the night while staff ensure that they have everything they need to be comfortable. If needed we provide personal hygiene products and make sure they are aware of our Clothing Depot which offers free clothing and other goods if they need it. In the morning the women are woken up in time for a shower and to take advantage of a hot breakfast. Since it is a congregate setting, we do everything we can to make it comfortable for the women with everything from a snack when they arrive to free ear plugs to help them get a good night sleep.
The dorm is closed from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. during the week while on the weekends, it is open 24 hours a day. Residents still have access to washrooms, lounges, meals, a telephone, internet access, and their belongings 24 hours a day.
While many of our residents come to us hungry, we do our best to make sure that no one leaves The Lighthouse hungry. Most residents wake up to a hearty breakfast, a big lunch, and an excellent supper seven days a week. To end the day they are given a nutritious snack so no one goes to bed hungry. If they are working or have appointments, a bag lunch is available and of course we save a supper.
The Lounge and Secure Storage Areas
We lock up both our men’s and women’s shelter during the day. When they leave the shelter, we make it easy for them to head out to work, meetings, and appointments by providing a locked storage room. Each of their bags are tagged and the put on a shelf in a locked room. They can access their belongings at any time by asking the Support Staff to open the door. In addition to staff being there, the room is covered by a security camera for an additional level of security.
The lounge is open during the day for residents who don’t have anywhere to go. We have a big screen LCD television, comfortable sofas, tables and chairs, and some desktop computer for residents to put together resumes, surf the web, check email, and look for employment and rental units.
For residents who do not have cell phones, we do provide a landline in our lobby for residents to make phone calls on, for long distance phone calls we have a VOIP enabled phone which makes it far more affordable for them to keep in touch with friends and family around the world. All calls cost 25 cents for as long as they want to talk for.
Through the generous support of the YMCA, we are able to give out Y-passes to residents so they can access the gym, pool and weight room at the YMCA free of charge.
Rules and Appeal Process
The Lighthouse does have rules for its emergency shelters to ensure that everyone is able to find a safe place to sleep. If any residents find that these rules are unfair, we also offer an appeals process that is available to any client.
For more information on The Lighthouse Emergency Shelter services for women, call at 306.653.0538 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capital Funding for the Women’s Emergency Shelter came from