Alternative solutions to The Lighthouse required

There is much discussion taking place regarding the increasing challenges we face in Saskatoon’s city core.

I see little written about it.

What are the issues?

There is a noticeable increase in pan handling, loitering and disturbing and aggressive street behavior over the past few months in our city centre.

I think it’s important to maintain a safe community gather place.

The vibrant city core that Saskatoon has become known for is being lost.

We need to face this reality and develop a solution. The business and property owners that I hear talking about it are concerned.

You know there is a problem when you see reduced foot traffic which ultimately results in store closures.

This is not a discussion based on race or religion

The needs of the Lighthouse clients are real, and the number of individuals requiring that type of resource is increasing.

Their website states, “The Lighthouse works with clients dealing with a broad scope of issues, including those with mental health disorders, chronic addiction, FASD, acquired brain injury, physical, intellectual and cognitive disabilities, transitioning youth and low-income seniors.”

“ Many of our clients are dealing with multiple diagnoses. These issues are the root causes of homelessness and poverty.”

Is there a solution?

The issues are complex, and the solutions are not easy.

Leadership is required from provincial, civic and district administrations with some philanthropy thrown in the mix.

One logical solution I hear being discussed is to create, and support two or three smaller housing facilities that offer similar client services within different areas.

There is no perfect answer. Any change that takes place is likely to require increased funding.

We’ve seen examples of heroic philanthropy in our city’s past. If we work together, it will be possible to develop a creative win-win strategy, where the needs of the clients can be met.

Posted by Barry Stuart

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2 Comments

  1. Good article Barry. This is such a complicated issue and will only become more severe if we do not continue this dialogue with new solutions being put forward.

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