A homeless shelter in North Battleford says it could be closing by the end of the month.
The Lighthouse Supported Living shelter in North Battleford says stricter regulations from the provincial government means that its provincial funding has been slashed by approximately 90 per cent.
In November, the Ministry of Social Services told the shelter program it would not be paying for anyone it considered living on reserve.
According to the shelter, that means almost everyone staying at the shelter would not qualify for provincial money.
"We can't continue our program like this, if changes are not made immediately to how emergency shelters are funded in the province," said shelter manager Caitlin Glencross.
'We should all be entitled to our basic needs being met.' - Caitlin Glencross
Social Services has been reviewing who is eligible for shelter beds, making sure there is no duplication of services. However, Glencross said that approach means many people will be left out in the cold.
"Because of the geographical location of North Battleford, we are surrounded by nine reserves," Glencross said.
"There's been a lot of jurisdictional blocks for us, where we can't get people funded. They may not have a home, but they're considered to be on reserve, so they're not eligible from the provincial government."
The shelter had originally planned to close at the end of January. However, a donation from the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs meant they will able to stay open until March.
"If you struggle with addiction, if it's mental health, or if you're on reserve, off reserve, at the end of the day, we're all citizens of Saskatchewan," she said. "We should all be entitled to our basic needs being met."
The Lighthouse Battlefords worked with about 500 different people last year.
No cuts to emergency shelter rates in Saskatchewan, province says
There have not been any changes to emergency shelter rates anywhere in the province, according to government spokesperson Lisa Danyluk.
Danyluk said that unlike the Lighthouse in Saskatoon, the Ministry of Social Services does not have a contract with the shelter in North Battleford, but they pay the per diem rate for eligible individuals.
"The Transient Aid Policy allows people who need help to get it. The Lighthouse receives money for stays, regardless of eligibility, until eligibility can be determined shortly after the person accesses Lighthouse Services," Danyluk said in an emailed statement.
"Social Services does not pay, beyond the Transient Aid Policy, for individuals who have the means to pay for their stay or individuals already receiving benefits on a Saskatchewan First Nation, for example."
Social Services receives many request from people who already receive income assistance shelter benefits or assistance from their First Nation, according to Danyluk.
"Providing per diem payments for those receiving benefits from the province or their band would be duplicate funding," she said.
The Lighthouse responded to the province's comments, saying it was "totally inaccurate" that the shelter receives money for stays, regardless of eligibility. The shelter said it has received multiple notices of declined funding from social services.