Métis Nation–Sask. to fund North Battleford Lighthouse emergency shelter until September

·2 min read
The Lighthouse Supported Living announced in late February that the North Battleford location would close, effective April 1. (Don Somers/CBC - image credit)
The Lighthouse Supported Living announced in late February that the North Battleford location would close, effective April 1. (Don Somers/CBC - image credit)

Métis Nation–Saskatchewan has decided to provide funding to The Lighthouse Supported Living in North Battleford.

The emergency shelter announced in late February that the North Battleford location would close, effective April 1.

The organization cited "substantial funding changes" as the reason for the closure.

A partnership with Provincial Métis Housing Corporation — an affiliate of Métis Nation–Saskatchewan — fell through, leaving the emergency shelter with not enough money to operate.

The housing corporation provided funding through the Reaching Home Program, which is federally funded, according to MN-S.

The corporation received Lighthouse's recent application for funding, but decided not to provide the Reaching Home Program federal funding to the shelter.

After, Métis Nation–Saskatchewan said it saw the need for Lighthouse to stay open, and decided to fund the shelter until September with its own COVID-19 emergency funds.

"The homeless are the most susceptible when it comes to COVID-19, and with no other apparent homeless shelters in the Battleford region, MN–S will take up the challenge and fund the 37-bed facility," MN-S Housing Minister Ryan Carriere said in a statement.

Carriere said discussions are also underway to determine a path toward more substantial, community funding partners so that the shelter can operate indefinitely.

"MN-S recognizes the need for housing often becomes entangled in bureaucracy at the expense of those most at risk," Christena Konrad, the governance body's housing director, said in the statement.

"MN–S sees the urgent need for these citizens within the Battleford region and will utilize emergency COVID money to ensure they don't fall through the cracks especially at a time like this."

In the meantime, MN-S said it is in discussion with the Battleford Agency Tribal Council to look at ways to address homelessness.