Saskatoon Salvation Army takes on Lighthouse’s emergency shelter beds

30 of the emergency shelter spaces being shut down at the Lighthouse are being taken over by the Salvation Army. Brent McGillvray / Global News

The Salvation Army in Saskatoon is taking 30 of the emergency shelter beds that the Lighthouse is shutting down.

According to the Lighthouse, the remaining 31 beds will be operated by the Lighthouse for the time being.

The Lighthouse said it has been working with the Ministry of Social Services since the province announced that they would be withdrawing its funding from the organization earlier this summer, adding that the other services will continue to operate until the ministry establishes plans with other organizations to provide care for people currently using the Lighthouse’s services.

“The Lighthouse has made significant strides to heal the organization and we have maintained our focus on serving our clients,” read a statement from the Lighthouse.

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Gordon Taylor, the executive director for the Salvation Army in Saskatoon, said they were in talks about taking on these emergency shelter beds since before July.

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“That brings us up to 75 emergency beds in the building, plus we have 25 beds for another program,” said Taylor.

He said they have beds on the second floor and have had to set up extra beds on the main floor in areas that are used for program space.

“It’s just two nights that it’s been open so far, and already 21 of the (extra) beds were used last night, so I think the word is out there that this is available and ready to go.”

Taylor added that this maxes out their building.

“Part of the conversation with social services when they asked us to take on the 30 beds was it means an increase to our contract, so we have hired additional staff.”

The Government of Saskatchewan put out a statement last week saying that it is having discussions with other community partners to transition all 61 shelter spaces out of the Lighthouse, adding that it will be a gradual process.

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“The Government of Saskatchewan is beginning to transition services it contracts with Lighthouse Supported Living in Saskatoon to new community partners. Our shared focus continues to be ensuring supports remain in place to meet individual and community needs and the number of emergency shelter spaces in Saskatoon is maintained,” read the statement.

“The transition began in September 2022, with new service providers providing Supported Independent Living Program (SILP) services for 14 individuals who reside at Lighthouse. SILP services provide adults with intellectual disabilities living in their own homes with person-centred supports so they can live as independently as possible.”

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