Saskatoon's Lighthouse expands services with $4M funding package

CBC News, Nov 20, 2015

Thanks to $4 million in new funding, The Lighthouse Supported Living, Saskatoon's assisted living complex for the city's homeless people, will have 38 suites for intoxicated people that its staff can handle.

Eighteen of the suites are new; they join an existing pilot project of 20, bringing the total to 38, which comprise the Lighthouse's stabilization shelter.

Thirty beds will be allocated for men and eight beds will be allocated for women.

"Right now, we're turning people away at night, so when we're turning people away it means that they don't have a place to go," said The Lighthouse's general manager Dave Thiessen. "And so then we saw this as an opportunity for us to just provide a place for individuals to lay down, get some sleep, and just recover."

The money came from several backers, including the province's health ministry, which donated $1 million, the justice ministry, which contributed $250,000 and the social services ministry which also gave $250,000.

The City of Saskatoon contributed $126,000 toward the project and additional funding was provided through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

Part of the money is also being used to renovate 59 existing units in the Dubé Lighthouse, a unit that provides housing for about 70 people.

"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," said Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer.  "This aligns with a number of priorities outlined in our Provincial Housing Strategy, which includes supporting individuals and families in greatest housing need."

"Our goal is to make sure that we provide all the services necessary to help people get through their addictions issues," Thiessen said of the project.

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