Tag Archives: Battlefords

Sign up to volunteer at the Lighthouse today!

IMG_0786 (1)How can you get involved at the Lighthouse? We have many different opportunities for people who want to volunteer.

-Shelter help: Assisting staff prep the shelter areas for the next night, including laundry and general cleaning.

-Kitchen help: Lend a hand in the kitchen with for our community meal program! Prep a meal and serve it, come down and serve a meal that has already been prepped, or assist staff from start to finish with a meal.
Our meal times are lunch from 12-1 and supper 5-6.

-Saturday Morning Pancake Breakfast: Every Saturday morning we are cooking up pancakes down at the shelter. This is a great opportunity to bring your whole family or come as a group and cook some pancakes.

If you’ve read this and thought… “Where do I sign up?” Give us a call and we can put you on the volunteer schedule. 306-445-3600.

Meet our Staff!

For the past two weeks we have been featuring our staff on Facebook, who they are and why the have chosen to work at the Lighthouse. Here is a collection of their reflections, in their own words.



“Hi, my name is Erin Stone. I am 27 years old and have lived most of my life in The Battlefords. When I was 14 I moved to Edmonton, however I have always felt North Battleford was my home. When I moved back, I volunteered at The Lighthouse and was then offered a position. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. I’ve been at The Lighthouse for one year. Watching the clients making changed and growing in their lives makes me feel good knowing I was part of that journey. As a staff member, I have made great friends that I know will continue for a lifetime.”





IMG_0570“My name is Judy Armstrong. I started working at The Lighthouse 6 months after it opened. I am a casual employee as I work full-time at The Battlefords Interval House as a crisis counsellor, where I help abused women and children. I have been there for the past 16 years. Working at The Lighthouse has introduced me to many different people from all walks of life. At times it can be a challenging job, but the work we do here is very rewarding. Regardless of circumstances or what hand we have been dealt, everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. I look forward to coming to work and spending time with the clients their. Respect goes a long way.”







“My name is Jolaynee Tootoosis, from Poundmaker Cree Nation, I am Nakoda/Cree, currently in my first year of university and my goal is to obtain a degree in either Education or Social Work. I love working at the Lighthouse because it allowed me to practice kindness and compassion and do my best to help others.”








“Hi, my name is Phyllis Lennie. I’m originally from Battleford and I am proud of my Metis Heritage. My work history consists of Family Service Worker in child protection, Emergency Duty Worker, Youth Worker and a Crisis Line Worker with the Battlefords Sexual Center. My position as a Support Worker at the North Battlefords Lighthouse has given me the opportunity to help those that are most vulnerable. The overwhelming support of our community through donations and volunteering has allowed our clients to gain faith not only in themselves; but with humanity as a whole. As I continue on my journey of life I give thanks for being able to assist those in need so that they to will find their way.”






“Hi, my name is Shylo Bolig from Battleford, Sk. I am a single mother of a 23 year old daughter, and a 21 year old son. I am also a proud grandmother of a 3 year old grandson. I grew up in Battleford, and for the last 15 years I’ve been working in nursing at a nursing home in battleford and in addiction/mental health at Hopeview Recovery Centre. I came to work at the Lighthouse 1 year ago cause of my passion to be able to help out the less fortunate. I soon came to realize how quickly little families form and how the clients look out for each other. The reason I love working at the Lighthouse, not only for what I can do for them, but what they have also taught me along the way. Everyone has a story don’t be so quick to judge before they have had a chance to be heard.”




“My name is Cody Villeneuve and I was born and codyraised in North Battleford, Sk. I am a Metis child and single parent to 3 children. I have been working at The Lighthouse since the day we opened the doors. I learn everyday from the clients that reside here and I have watched how the staff and clients have formed a family. I have also learned we cannot judge people, only help them along their path. Whether they take the help is up to them, but at The Lighthouse, we will always be there to offer our help.”

Coldest Night of the Year raises $30,000!

Coldest Night of the Year was an amazing day! Thank you to everyone who participated in The Battlefords Coldest Night of The Year walk! Whether you walked, volunteered, or donated, the community of The Battlefords made the day successful!!


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Thank you to our corporate sponsors Fortress Windows and Doors, Fishers Pharmacy, Discovery Co-Op, Bee-J’a Office Plus, and North Battleford Hyundai.
We surpassed our goal of $25,000, with a total just over $30,000!!! It was so encouraging to see so many community members out for the walk. We had 153 people participate yesterday!

On top of the money the community raise, the City of North Battleford provided a matching gift of $25,000 bring the total to $55,000!!Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 9.03.31 AM

The heart of North Battleford continues to shine through! We are so grateful as we continue to work together to help the hungry, homeless and hurting in our community.

Coldest Night of the Year Sponsors

We have received our first event sponsorship from The Discovery Co-Op! Thank you very much for becoming an event sponsor.

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Our goal is to raise $25,000 for the emergency shelter, and our current total is sitting at $4,212.

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If you are interested in being a corporate sponsor, please give us a call at 306-445-3600, or email hello@lighthousenorthbattleford.org.

To sign up to walk with us on the Coldest Night of the Year, click here!

North Battleford Lighthouse helps the homeless, hungry

More from Andrea Hill, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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Caitlin Glencross doesn’t turn people away.

The men, women and children who cross the threshold of the Lighthouse Supported Living Centre that she runs in North Battleford often have nowhere else to turn. All are homeless. Many are hungry and dirty. Some are drunk.

All are offered food, shelter, showers and laundry at the downtown North Battleford centre. If there isn’t enough room in the dorms, bedrolls are assembled in the dining room.

During the year since the North Battleford Lighthouse opened last January, more than 500 people have spent at least one night at the centre. More than 21,000 hot meals have been served.

“Whatever the gap is, we try to fill it,” Glencross said.

Glencross was working at The Lighthouse in Saskatoon nearly two years ago when North Battleford city officials toured the facility and proclaimed they wanted a similar shelter in their city. At the time, no facility provided continuous shelter or three meals a day in North Battleford.

“It was definitely a much rougher lifestyle for some of our clients,” Glencross said. “There were a lot of people that were going hungry.”

With funding from the federal and provincial governments and the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs Community Development Corporation, The Lighthouse purchased a building in downtown North Battleford in the summer of 2014. After months of renovations, it opened in late January 2015.

A year later, Glencross said she can’t imagine North Battleford without it.

“I don’t know where all of these people in the community would go,” she said.

Demand has been so great that the shelter has had to increase the number of beds. It now has 45 and can still be filled to capacity, especially on cold nights.

Securing the money to keep the shelter functioning is an ongoing challenge, however.

DeeAnn Mercier, communications director with the Saskatoon Lighthouse, said both the Saskatoon and North Battleford locations struggle to obtain necessary funding, much of which comes from grants that may not be available the following year. This year, in addition to operational costs, money is needed to fix the leaky roof of the North Battleford shelter.

Despite the “great need” to open more Lighthouse shelters throughout the province to house and feed vulnerable people, there are no plans to open another location.

“We definitely have our hands full,” Mercier said.

When Glencross was offered the opportunity to head up the North Battleford Lighthouse, she was cautious. The city is known for having topped Statistics Canada’s crime severity index for cities with a population over 10,000 since the index’s inception in 2009.

But her experiences in the city have been nothing but positive, Glencross said.

It’s difficult to quantify the effect the Lighthouse has had on North Battleford crime, but Battlefords RCMP Insp. John Sutherland said anecdotally, it has reduced calls for police service because people who are intoxicated now have somewhere to go.

“That person doesn’t end up incarcerated, which really isn’t where they belong,” he said.

Many people end up getting off the streets entirely. During the last 12 months, Glencross said she has seen people who were on the streets for years moved into affordable housing.

“Just being able to come in and have a warm place, and have a bed, be fed, treated with dignity and respect, we’ve seen an improvement in a lot of these people’s lives,” she said. “I’ve seen people turn their lives around, I’ve seen people get the help they need, get stabilized.”

Some of those people will be back at The Lighthouse on Jan. 26, when the organization celebrates its first anniversary.




Original Article Posted Here.

Lighthouse manager sees supported living as part of five-year plan

The manager of The Lighthouse Serving the Battlefords, the community’s permanent, year-round homeless shelter, sees a need in North Battleford that so far no one is interested in filling.

Establishing a supported-living program is on Caitlin Glencross’s five-year plan.Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.55.34 PM

A mandate of The Lighthouse, in addition to providing emergency shelter to approximately 30 people per night, is to help clients find housing, but in some cases it’s nearly impossible.

“We have people we will probably never find housing for because they are not stable,” said Glencross during an open house at the shelter Saturday. “They can’t live on their own. That’s a gap in this community.”

There is a way to fill that gap, however, she said.

“It’s called supported living. We have it in Saskatoon and that is in my five-year plan to get it in North Battleford,” said Glencross, who worked at The Lighthouse in Saskatoon before it opened a shelter here.

“Clients who don’t have skills to live on their own need support. Those are the ones that will benefit from something like supported living.”

Unfortunately, she told a small but interested group who toured the shelter and met for a question and answer session, there are no developers interested in that kind of a project.

“The City [of North Battleford] went to developers and nobody was interested in bringing that here.”

She said, “We have a 64-unit in Saskatoon attached to The Lighthouse, staffed 24 hours.”

The supported-living project was made possible by the donation of a hotel building in 1997 by local businessman Pius Pfiefer, who also owns hotels in North Battleford.

Each unit is about the size of a hotel room, she said, each with sleeping accommodations and its own washroom. They do not have fridges or stoves, she explained. Clients come down to the dining room where meals are prepared for them.

“We have a lot of clients that have mental health [issues], a lot of clients who are pension age, but independent … and they struggle with poverty, so they are not candidates to be in a place where they have to pay.”

It is also used for people in the first steps of acquiring the skills they need to eventually move out into the community.

Security is strict.

“We don’t allow guests,” Glencross added. “People have to be buzzed in by staff. We have a camera at the door and if we don’t know who you are, we don’t buzz you in.”Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.50.45 PM

She told the group, “That’s what supported living looks like, and that’s what this community needs.”

Finding permanent housing for clients in the community is an important part of the The Lighthouse’s program, so much so that it is a full-time housing locater on staff.

“Since we opened in January, we have housed 36 people out of The Lighthouse,” said Glencross. “That’s a pretty good number of people considering the housing there is in this town.”

Most of their clients need small places, even bachelor suites, so it can be difficult to find the right place for their clients’ needs. And most of them are too expensive for their clients, with Social Services allowing only about $350 for rent, “which is another issue we are advocating for.”

She also said there are several slumlords in North Battleford.

Clients have come back to them because the place they’ve moved to isn’t safe. They’d rather be at the shelter because they are scared to go home.

“We have about four landlords that we will not house our clients with, and that’s for our clients’ safety.”

The Lighthouse staff visit the housing being considered and take pictures, so they can verify the suite is safe and is in good condition. They’ve come across some makeshift situations.

“We actually went to one house and we called the RCMP,” she said.

The landlord was collecting a cheque from Social Services for eight different people, telling Social Services there were eight separate units.

“They had a basement with eight curtains and beds and that’s what they called eight units.”

She said they are working with a member of the RCMP specifically on homes that need to be shut down because the landlords are not taking care of them.

When a landlord amongst the open house visitors said his concern was having his property “trashed,” Glencross admitted they have some clients who are extremely difficult to house. In a small community, the landlords come to know the names of those they don’t want to rent to, she said.

“There are some, obviously, we are not going to house,” she said.

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Meal Programs

Meals are a key part of the service the Lighthouse provides.

Meals are a key part of the service the Lighthouse provides.

We have been serving an increasing amount of meals ever since we opened. In fact we are serving more people meals than spend the night. We are serving over 200 meals a week.

We have also had a few people drop off cases of lunch meat which has been really helpful! If you would like to donate food products please call 306-445-3600.

The Lighthouse is also seeking families or groups to come on Saturday mornings to prepare pancake breakfasts. We would greatly appreciate your help in serving the hungry, homeless and hurting in our community.


Grand Opening of the Lighthouse Emergency Shelter Serving the Battlefords

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Battleford’s most vulnerable citizens will have an emergency shelter to use in times of crisis thanks to support from the Government of Canada and the BATC Community Development Corporation (BATC CDC). The Lighthouse purchased the Reclaim Outreach Centre for an innovative shelter designed for homeless residents in the city.

The grand opening will take place on Monday, February 9th at 10:30am at The Lighthouse Serving the Battlefords, 962 102nd St. in North Battleford.

The Lighthouse has designated space for men, women, and families, as well as a dorm for individuals who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Day-time programming, case management, and meals will also be available on site for those who are using the shelter’s services.

The funding from the Federal Government, through the Rural and Remote Homelessness Partnering Strategy allowed for needed renovations of the existing facility, including a fire suppression system, kitchen upgrade, and additional washrooms and shower space.

MP Gerry Ritz brings greetings on behalf of the federal government

MP Gerry Ritz brings greetings on behalf of the federal government

“The federal government is pleased to support the Lighthouse initiative in North Battleford, which will help take pressure off of hospitals and police cells, while keeping people safe, especially in our brutally cold winters.” Minister Gerry Ritz, Member of Parliament for Battlefords-Lloydminster.

In addition, the BATC CDC has provided funds for furnishing and operational dollars for the Lighthouse in the Battlefords. “Thanks to the support we have receive from HPS and the BATC CDC, we were able to renovate and provide emergency shelter and connects to permanent long-term housing in the community for chronic and episodically homeless people in the Battlefords area,” Executive Director of the Lighthouse Supported Living, Don Windels said.

“Supporting the development of healthy communities is the vision of BATC CDC, and by providing financial support to the Lighthouse, all those involved are making a difference for The Battlefords, surrounding communities and our First Nations.” said Chief Lori Whitecalf of Sweetgrass First Nation. Chief Whitecalf is a Board of Director with BATC CDC and is also the Tribal Chair for Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs.

The Lighthouse currently operates an emergency shelter for men and women, supported living suites, and independent affordable housing suites in Saskatoon. Additionally, the Lighthouse opened a Stabilization Unit last summer for those who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs to provide a safe, supervised place to sleep.

Photos from the Funding Announcement for the Battlefords Emergency Shelter

Thanks to the generosity of BATC Community Development Corporation for their donation of $275,000 towards the renovation of the Reclaim Outreach Centre into an Emergency Shelter. The community of Battlefords showed their support by their large turn out at the media announcement on October 3, 2014. The Lighthouse hopes to have a grand opening of the building and begin to have people stay over night in the next 6 to 8 weeks.

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