Métis Nation–Saskatchewan pledges to fund North Battleford shelter facing closure

The Lighthouse’s emergency shelter in North Battleford was scheduled to close effective April 1 due to a lack of funding. File / Global News

Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN-S) is committed to funding a North Battleford emergency shelter, which was slated to close in less than a month.

Officials from The Lighthouse Supported Living stated last week that the North Battleford facility would stop operating its emergency shelter program effective April 1. A statement cited “substantial funding changes.”

Read more: Battlefords’ Lighthouse emergency shelter shuttering its doors

According to a Friday news release, MN-S will ensure the facility stays open, providing 37 beds for the homeless population.

“MN-S recognizes the need for housing often becomes entangled in bureaucracy at the expense of those most at risk,” MN-S housing director Christena Konrad said in a news release.

“MN-S sees the urgent need for these citizens within the Battleford region and will utilize emergency COVID money to ensure they don’t fall through the cracks especially at a time like this.”

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MN-S housing minister Ryan Carriere said with no other homeless shelter serving The Battlefords, the organization will provide the funding — particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Discussions are also underway to determine a path toward more substantial, community funding partners that could see a shelter operate indefinitely,” said Carriere.

Read more: New daytime youth shelter helping Saskatoon’s homeless population

MN-S is also involved in discussions focusing on “on establishing strong and sustainable partnerships within the community to create holistic homelessness responses and supports to serve the Battleford region,” according to the release.

When word first spread that the shelter would close, Saskatchewan Opposition Leader Ryan Meili called on the provincial government to fill the funding gap.

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Social of Service told Global News last week that it had not stopped provincial funding to the shelter, and that it increased contributions to the facility due to the pandemic.

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Battlefords’ Lighthouse emergency shelter shuttering its doors – Feb 26, 2021

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