Families Find Safety in Community | A Place to Call Home
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(Visual: a bench reads Westgate alliance attainable housing)
(Visual: row of houses)
(Visual: wider show of row of houses)

I am Frank Jeske I am the chair of the board of Westgate heights attainable housing and also pastor of Westgate alliance church

(Visual: man in a church)
(Visual: row of houses)
(Visual: man in a church)

and Westgate attainable housing is a non-profit charity that Westgate alliance church established to meet the needs of the community around us

(Visual: man in a church)
(Visual: Children reading)

We heard what the city was saying in the area of the need for low-income housing

(Visual: a lady walking outside)
(Visual: shot of cars with houses in the background)

we started our first partnership with the city itself

(Visual: a man in a church)

and then from the city we moved to Sask Housing and that lead us then to CMHC which is the connecting organization for across Canada and we began to realize that you know, with working together with these organizations that we could have success here in the area of housing

(Visual: a lady walking outside)

The intent of Westgate heights is that this is a temporary...

(Visual: a lady in a living room)

This is attainable housing its not low-income housing its meant for them to have a step up to where they can

(Visual: a row of bins with names on them)

get their own house and improve their situation

(Visual: a lady on a couch)
(Visual: a lady in a living room)

I know there’s been some talk in the rental market in Saskatoon about vacancies and I have not experienced that I have a waiting list

(Visual: a lady walking outside)

I've got like fifty on my five bedroom wait list

(Visual: a shot of houses)

and forty on my three bedrooms you know?

(Visual: a lady in a living room)

and we don't just go by the waitlist we actually very much go by need and if God directs us

(Visual: a man smiling)

to some people, sometimes it’s just a matter of timing

(Visual: a lady in a kitchen makes coffee)

We were living actually, in a two bedroom apartment

(Visual: a woman and grandkids on a couch and there was six of us)

my daughter, oldest child passed away in 2014 and we had such a hard time to find housing and...

(Child) - There was bedbugs

Yes we had a lot of problems Where we lived was in an area where there were actually like, Almost monthly there was standoffs just down the alley from us so the police would blockade off and the kids would get scared you know, So we went through quite a bit but we couldn't find housing there was just nothing and then finally someone

(Visual: a woman in a kitchen prepares food)

told me, you know, go try and apply at Westgate

(Visual: a woman and grandkids on a couch)

and so I applied for it and then and it wasn't that long and Lena gave me a call the manager gave me a call and she came to the house and interviewed me

(Visual: a lady walking in front of houses)

and then she offered us this place

(Visual: a different angle of the lady walking)
(Visual: a lady in a living room)

another thing that's a draw for our new Canadians in our whole complex is the fact that we have

(Visual: a sign reads LINC Class, Adult English Class)

ESL or English as a second language classes

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in the apartment building twice a day

(Visual: a teacher writing on a white board)

I think that it's good we are new here

(Visual: 3 boys sit around a table)

so we don't know anybody so it's good for meet people, and make a friend, so it's good for easier to live here I think its good.

(Visual: a mother, and father sit in a living room with their son)
(Visual: 2 brothers smiling and talking)
(Visual: a man in a church)

one of our goals in this whole area of the housing was it wasn't just housing it's not just about a house as such

(Visual: a shot of an apartment complex)

but it's in reference to the community that's being formed

(Visual: a woman laughing)
(Visual: children smiling)

the community relationships

(Visual: a woman and grandkids on a couch)

It's just been our safe place and it's been a really really good place to be for us like it's a community all its own sorta thing

(Visual: a lady in a living room)

I feel that most of my tenants are my friends

(Visual: a lady looks at an apartment complex)

I know all of my tenants and... I really enjoy my job, it invigorates me

(Visual: a man in a church)

I would say that success at the end of the day is

(Visual: a close up of a child pointing at a book)

seeing families feel safe and they feel that it's a place

(Visual: a couple smiling)

Where they want to live and

(Visual: a woman walking and waving)

and I know for Lena as well as much as for myself We'll go through and we say hi to people as though they are our neighbors, they are our neighbors

(Visual: Man in a church)
(Visual: kids wave through a window)

so success is relationships,  building community

(Visual: Family smiling)
(Visual: Houses pop up on a screen and the CHMC logo is revealed)

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March 7, 2018

Close-knit community focuses on families in Saskatoon

Deborah and her family pile onto a comfortable couch in her warm and cozy living room. Her kids are anxious to continue playing video games, and the inviting smell of lunch drifts in from the kitchen. Just a year ago, it was a very different scene.

Deborah lost her eldest daughter in 2014. Her family of 5 shared a small 2-bedroom apartment and it was difficult to find adequate and affordable housing in a suitable neighbourhood.

“We had such a hard time finding housing,” she explains. They ended up in a dangerous area with frequent standoffs just down the alley from them. “The police would blockade and the kids would get scared,” Deborah recalls.

Finally, someone suggested she apply to Westgate Heights, a housing development in Saskatoon. Before long, housing manager Lena Hoeppner visited her for an interview and offered the family a new townhouse.

Owned and operated by Westgate Heights Attainable Housing, the church-connected development provides 34 townhouses and 40 rental units for low-income families and newcomers to Canada.

“This is attainable housing, it’s not low-income housing,” says Lena. “It’s meant for them to have a step up to where they can get their own house and improve their situation.”

Pastor Frank Jeske, Chair of Westgate Heights Attainable Housing, is pleased with the community that’s forming. “Success at the end of the day is seeing families feel safe,” he says. “Success is relationships, building community.”

This project received funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Province of Saskatchewan through the Canada–Saskatchewan Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement. It also received contributions from the City of Saskatoon and Westgate Heights Attainable Housing Inc.