Watch above: a new traditional housing program helps men turning their lives around
SASKATOON – A non-profit, non-denominational faith ministry in Saskatoon will be moving ahead with transitional housing for men.
On Wednesday, the Bridge Fellowship Centre announced it would be launching the program permanently following an 11-month pilot project.
Four men down on their luck will be able to continue to call a 103-year-old house on Avenue N South, their home otherwise known as The Passage House, A clean, safe and sober living environment for the men with 24/7 mentorship.
While there is an intake process, the guidelines are few; anyone over 19 years of age, who is detoxed and not on methadone are accepted if room is available.
“As long as a man is teachable and truly wanting to change, there is no other reason that could hold him back,” said Linda Chamagne, founder and executive director of The Bridge.
Once admitted, each of the individuals can stay for as long as they need but are required to set a personal, realistic goal.
“One was sleeping under a bridge, couldn’t find his own place, has never had his own place and really desires to have his own apartment and so the change is finding out why is it that you’re in that spot and helping them to get out of that spot,” explained Chamagne.
The rewarding program requires continued financial support.
“We have to pay the rent here which is about $1,600 a month, feeding one man for a month is about $100, there’s a bunch of different ways and so we’re looking for any amount of contribution whether it’s a one time thing or a monthly donation as well,” said Brad Redekopp, board chair for The Bridge.
“We’re very diligent and open with the way we spend money and we trust that if this is a vision from the lord then he provides for it and we have 16 years of experience of that being the case,” said Chamagne.
Conservative MP Kelly Block, who was present at the announcement, said her hands are tied when it comes to federal funding for the project but it’s rather that of the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership.
“It’s up to an organization like The Bridge to make their request known to ships and then that is the organization that determines who will get the funding that’s provided by the federal government through the homelessness partnering strategy,” said Block
Officials with The Bridge said they applied for federal funding twice for the pilot-project but were denied both times.
The ultimate vision of the group is to expand the men’s house and introduce women’s transitional housing as well.
For more information on The Passage House you can log onto http://www.thebridgesaskatoon.com.