Saskatoon Lighthouse Emergency Shelter will close September 30
Lighthouse Supported Living’s emergency shelter will officially cease operations next week.
A source confirmed to CTV News that on Sept. 30, the nonprofit’s 61 emergency beds will no longer be available. However, the bulk of the organization’s programming and services will continue.
The Department of Social Services announced it would withdraw funds for the shelter earlier this year.
The move came after it was discovered that lighthouse manager Don Windels had used shelter funds for personal loans.
In mid-January, Windels was furloughed and two board members took over his responsibilities.
According to the most recent homeless count from the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP), which was conducted in April, there were at least 550 homeless people in Sasaktoon.
“More people on the streets, we need to provide services so people can continue to help get those services,” said SHIP communications coordinator Brenna Sych.
“If they don’t have a place to go, (they do) camps,” Sych said. “It could be people on the street; it could be people sleeping outside.
The Saskatoon Tribal Council opened its temporary wellness center late last year and plans to open a permanent location on 20th Street. The Salvation Army also provides emergency shelter.
The Lighthouse says it will provide a statement early next week once transition plans are finalized.
The Department of Social Services says it is working on a transition plan with community partners and that supports will continue to be in place to meet community needs for vulnerable people.