Claudia Turner and Richard Wolfe are leading the movement dedicated to saving the Lighthouse shelter in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. The shelter in North Battleford serves the vulnerable, and it has enough money to stay operational until fall 2021. It has been on the brink of closure for quite some time now. The protesters are calling on the local government to provide funding for it.
Claudia Turner had problems with alcohol addiction in the past. It was the Lighthouse who saved her.
“I know what it’s like to be homeless … needing somebody to talk to need the support, just need a boost. That’s why I’m determined to help them because I’ve been there. I sobered up at the Lighthouse. I got the support that I needed there, so these people are actually my family now.”
Wolfe, who also had his own share of problems that shelter helped him with, added:
“They’re not only homeless people, they’re family. I try my best to share my story with them. Maybe one day they’ll want to join me in the sober road.”
Dozens of clients, community members, and several local politicians have joined the movement to save the Lighthouse.
After The Provincial Métis Housing Corporation stepped away from the project, The Métis Nation—Saskatchewan stepped in to help, but it is only guaranteeing money until fall 2021.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Social Services wrote in an email:
“The government will continue to pay per diems to the North Battleford Lighthouse on behalf of eligible income assistance clients. Provincial funds paid to emergency shelters has increased, with additional funding being provided in April and then again in November to offset extra expenses related to COVID-19.”
The ministry is currently working with the organization to see if other sources of federal funding might be secured.