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Saskatoon Lighthouse emergency shelter to close Sept. 30

The emergency shelter at Lighthouse Supported Living will officially cease operations next week.

A source has confirmed to CTV News that on Sept. 30 the non-profit's 61 emergency beds will no longer be available. However, the bulk of the organization's programming and services will continue.

The Ministry of Social Services announced it would be pulling funding for the shelter earlier this year.

The move came after it came to light that the director of the Lighthouse Don Windels had used shelter funds for personal loans.

In mid-January, Windels was placed on leave with two members of the board taking over his responsibilities.

According to the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership’s (SHIP) most recent homeless person headcount, which was conducted in April, there were at least 550 people experiencing homelessness in Saskatoon.

“More people on the street, we need to provide services for people to be able to continue to help to get those services,” SHIP’s Communications Coordinator Brenna Sych said.

“If they don't have somewhere to go, (they make) encampments,” said Sych. “It could be people on the street; it could be people sleeping outside.”

The Saskatoon Tribal Council opened its temporary wellness centre late last year and has plans to open a permanent location on 20th Street. The Salvation Army also offers an emergency shelter.

The Lighthouse says it will provide a statement early next week once transition plans are finalized.

The Ministry of Social Services says it's working on a transition plan with community partners and that support will continue to be in place to meet the needs in the community for vulnerable individuals. Top Stories

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