NDP calls on Saskatchewan government to fund North Battleford homeless shelter

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NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — Saskatchewan's Opposition NDP is calling on the provincial government to help maintain a homeless shelter in North Battleford that is to close April 1 due to lack of funding.

Don Windels, executive director of Lighthouse Supported Living, says 22 full and part-time staff at The Lighthouse emergency facility have received layoff notices.

He says the shelter has space for 37 people and will try to find new housing for them.

Windels says the shelter depended on around $500,000 in core funding from the Provincial Metis Housing Corporation and says it costs about $800,000 per year to operate.

He says the corporation wants to focus on housing in the north and believes shelters should be the province's responsibility.

In a news release, NDP Leader Ryan Meili called on Premier Scott Moe to ensure funding is in place to keep The Lighthouse shelter open in North Battleford.

"Saskatchewan is in the midst of two public health crises. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the overdose crisis that is taking a brutal toll in lives across our province," Meili said Friday.

"It is unacceptable that the Sask. Party government would allow the crucial work the North Battleford Lighthouse does in service of the most vulnerable to be shut down due to lack of funding."

Government officials were not immediately available for comment. (CTV, The Canadian Press)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2021

The Canadian Press