Lodge for Regina's homeless LGBTQ youth becoming permanent: John Howard Society

·2 min read
A transitional house for homeless LGBTQ youth in Regina that opened in 2018 is now a permanent part of Regina's safety net. (David Horemans/CBC - image credit)
A transitional house for homeless LGBTQ youth in Regina that opened in 2018 is now a permanent part of Regina's safety net. (David Horemans/CBC - image credit)

Jordyn Dyck says he doesn't know where some of his friends would be without Lulu's lodge.

The transitional home is a five-bedroom house for young people who identify as LGBTQ and are homeless. It offers services including a live-in mentor, guidance and support for education, physical health, mental wellness, family reunification, legal matters and advocacy.

The program, which is run by the John Howard Society of Saskatchewan (JHSS), started in 2018 and it's now becoming permanent.

Dyck, an 18-year-old transgender person, says it's a much needed service for many people in Regina, including some of his friends.

"I think Lulu's has really helped them become independent and successful, for the most part, and they've been able to be themselves and be happy."

Shawn Fraser, CEO of JHSS, says the program was started to provide a much-needed service.

Reports have shown that 25 to 40 per cent of homeless youth in Canada identify as LGBTQ.

"We really saw that at our doors," Fraser said. "Just so many youth that were coming from that community and not really having supports that were really tailored to their needs"

At the beginning they were renting a house, Fraser says, but with financial help from the Saskatchewan Housing Corp. they were able to buy a house about a year ago.

They have also been able to increase their budget and build "a more stable, steady program."

"It's just great to walk in the door and see [clients] in a good space," Fraser said.

Dyck says there needs to be more homes like Lulu's, not just in Canada, but around the world.

"This is a good step in the right direction," he said.

The house has also received a lot of support from the community, Fraser says.

"Individuals, or private businesses, or school groups or faith groups have come and done fundraising for us … that's really without us asking."

However, the house is still in need of $100,000 to help cover the mortgage.

Donations can be made on The John Howard Society of Saskatchewan's website.