Saskatoon Tribal Council takes on remaining Lighthouse emergency shelter spaces

Click to play video: 'STC takes on beds from Lighthouse'
STC takes on beds from Lighthouse
WATCH: The Saskatoon Tribal Council is opnening a new wellness centre in the community of Fairhaven – Oct 28, 2022

The 31 emergency shelter spaces funded by the government remaining at the Lighthouse in Saskatoon will be transitioned to the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) in November.

A new location at 415 Fairmont Drive for the STC Emergency Wellness Centre is being provided by the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) to help with this transition.

“Homelessness remains a significant issue in Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Tribal Council is proud to partner with the province as we try to help even more community members. As a wellness centre, the Fairmont facility will use the holistic approach to services and healing of individuals we embrace as our relatives,” Tribal Chief Mark Arcand said.

“Supports in health services, employment and training, mental health and addictions, life skills programs, and centered around healing as we transition our relatives to independent living that will be enhanced with outreach supports. Homelessness in the city of Saskatoon hasn’t changed, because we haven’t changed in how we address the real issues. The Wellness Centre is status blind, we support all relatives from all walks of life.”

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The new location is being leased to the STC, and work will get underway in November to make improvements to the building.

“Homelessness is a complex issue and requires multiple partners to come together,” Social Services Minister and Minister Responsible for SHC Gene Makowsky said.

“This final stage of the transition of emergency shelter spaces will occur gradually during November as the new building becomes operational and with client needs in mind.”

A total of 61 shelter spaces were located at the Lighthouse, with the Salvation Army taking on 30 of them in October.

The province announced the transition of government-funded services from the Lighthouse in June after issues with governance, management and financial controls.

Arcand said they’ll have a total of 106 people they’re housing including their current clients, and hopes to be moving by November 15.

“It’s a community problem, it’s not a downtown problem, it’s not a North, East, South, West problem,” Arcand said.

Arcand said the new location has a lot of space that can be utilized and plans to expand.

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“There’s people with addictions there, it’s real. But there’s also people that don’t have homes. Cost of food is going up; cost of rent is going up.”

“We had an infant there as young as three months old, this is serious stuff in our city,” Arcand added.

He said every ward in the city should have one of these facilities and said he hopes to keep the current Wellness Centre facility location to use as a cold weather strategy.

Arcand said he would like to set up some teepees at the new facility to allow people to have shelter during the summer as well.

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