Two months into its fundraising campaign, Lulu’s Lodge has almost reached the halfway point of its aim to raise $100,000 for a newly purchased home for LGBTQ2S+ youth in Regina. Thanks to generous support from the Regina community, the home has garnered $38,597 in donations, which is nearly 40 per cent of its total goal.
Blair Roberts, communications officer at Lulu’s Lodge, says the team is beyond grateful for the support the community has shown in helping them reach their fundraising goal. He says since the lodge started in 2018 without any government funding, they rely on community donations to cover the costs of operations and the services they provide.
Support for Lulu’s Lodge a Reminder That LGBTQ2S+ Youth ‘Belong’
“We’ve just been blown away! People are making donations and hosting their own fundraisers for us, and local businesses are giving us a portion of their proceeds to put towards the campaign,” he says. “We’ve had donations of $20 all the way to $10,000, and they are all so important. We love Regina, and we’re so grateful for how people have stepped forward to help these youth.”
Roberts says not only are the donations valuable from a financial standpoint, but the outpouring of support also serves as a reminder to local LGBTQ2S+ youth that they belong in the community, and they’re accepted by their neighbours.
Lulu’s Lodge Fills a Gap in Services for LGBTQ2S+ in Regina
The John Howard Society of Saskatchewan (JHSS) launched Lulu’s Lodge in 2018 to fill a gap in services for LGBTQ2S+ in Regina and provide a transitional home for youth ages 16 to 21 experiencing homelessness. The team initially began providing services through a rental home, but quickly outgrew the property, often reaching capacity and having to form a waitlist.
With help from the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, they were able to purchase a new five-bedroom home and expand their capacity to support the community. The team took out a mortgage and launched the fundraising campaign to cover remaining costs and allow them to focus on their mission of providing mentorship, guidance and education around physical health, mental wellness and legal matters.
Capital Campaign Launched for Lulu’s Lodge
“A capital campaign is a great way to get the community involved in supporting the project,” Roberts says. “Through community support for the capital campaign, we can direct more of our funds and focus our efforts on supporting youth.”
Lulu’s Lodge has created a fundraising toolkit featuring information about the organization’s mission and values, and five fundraising tiers ranging from “enthusiast” at $500 to “champion” at $10,000. Roberts says they have additional fundraisers planned for the near future, with all proceeds going towards the campaign.
“We just can’t thank our community enough,” Roberts says. “We stepped in to fill a gap in services for these youth two and a half years ago. Now, the community has also stepped forward to let them know they matter. We are so grateful.”
To learn more or donate, visit sk.johnhoward.ca/luluscampaign.
Community Rallies Behind John Howard Society
We’ve seen the community step up to support the John Howard Society of Saskatchewan during the pandemic. The Loyalty basketball shop in Saskatoon donated $4,000 worth of Puma basketball shoes for kids and youth who participate in their social programs.
And the John Howard Society has an intriguing partnership with gourmet popcorn company Comeback Snacks, which was founded inside a federal prison and is making a difference for the previously incarcerated by raising awareness of the importance of re-integration after prison.