Gibney House has opened its doors.
The facility is being run by the Lloydminster Social Action Coalition Society, offering men who can’t afford a deposit on their own apartment a low-rent room.
Reverend Michael Stonhouse, president of the society, says the house is only meant for short-term stays.
“Often guys move to the city, they have a job, but they don’t have their first paycheck yet, and so how are they to afford their own place” Stonhouse said. “Most apartments require your first month’s rent, and the same amount for a damage deposit. So this way, they can earn some money, save some money up, until they have enough for their own place. So it’s meant to be relatively short-term, but to give the guys a help.”
The house has been named after the society’s founder, Dr. Eugene Gibney, who pioneered the society’s strategy of helping the city’s disadvantaged men.
Stonhouse says the need for a place like this in the city is large.
“There’s still an immense housing need,” Stonhouse said. “A few weeks ago, we had our homeless assessment, and we came up with, I think it was, 165 people without permanent, adequate accommodations, and our guess is that that’s only the tip of the iceberg, because one of the categories is people at risk of homelessness, in other words paying over a third of their income on housing. Our guess is, especially with the downturn in the economy, and people losing jobs and having hours cut and things like that, there’s a lot of people who are living just on the edge.”
Stonhouse also says the facility has room for 8 men, and charges them $450 a month. The house is located on 54 Street, across from the Centennial Civic Centre.