'A beautiful place': Battleford Agency Tribal Council to run Lighthouse shelter

Beds at the Lighthouse North Battleford are pictured in this file photo.

Lighthouse Supported Living will lease its North Battleford shelter to Battleford Agency Tribal Council (BATC) to operate a shelter over the next six months.

“The City of North Battleford is very thankful for our community-minded partners that have worked together to develop an innovative approach to continue this needed service for the homeless in the Battlefords,” North Battleford Mayor David Gillan said in a news release.

In March 2020, the Lighthouse did not qualify for homelessness funding and was at risk of closing the shelter in the North Battleford location, according to the release.

At that time, Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S) committed to fund services to the most vulnerable. The North Battleford Lighthouse Supported Living emergency shelter was able to remain open until the end of September.

The new partnership with BATC will ensure the homelessness service remains accessible beyond the end of MN–S funding.

“It is with pride that we have worked with our elders to create a new name, ‘Miywasin Kikinaw - a beautiful place,’” the BATC chiefs said in the release.

“It is our hope to work with clients on a case by-case basis, while focusing on health, wellness, and future transitioning. This has been close to our hearts. We have provided funding to the Lighthouse for over a decade. It makes sense to all of us at BATC to lead a new, more innovative approach to addressing homelessness in the Battlefords.”

Over the next six months, the Lighthouse Board will also be working on strengthening community partnerships in the Battlefords and Saskatoon and developing a strong, long-term sustainable plan to mitigate the risk of closing the doors in the future.

“Building strong partnerships within the community is essential to ensure the needs are being properly served. We are committed to evolving the services to support the Battlefords and surrounding area in the best way possible through these partnerships,” Lighthouse Board Chair Jerome Hepfner said.

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