At least five members of the management team at the Lighthouse Supported Living have been dismissed from their roles at the Saskatoon shelter, sources have confirmed.

Letters dated Feb. 1 provided to Global News indicate the employees have been “terminated, without cause, with immediate effect.” The correspondence was signed by Jerome Hepfner and Twila Reddekopp, the co-managing directors.

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“We thank you for your service to the Lighthouse and wish you all the best,” the letter reads.

Hepfner and Reddekopp were previously board members for the shelter, which provides housing and services for people experiencing homelessness in Saskatoon. Earlier this month, the board appointed them to their new roles, while executive director Don Windels was placed on leave.

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The reason behind the leadership change has not been made public. Windels previously declined to comment when reached by Global News.

A since-deleted post on the Lighthouse’s Twitter account indicated managers and directors were escorted off the premises by security Tuesday. A source confirmed the tweet’s legitimacy.

Contacted regarding the firings Tuesday, Hepfner said the Lighthouse is “going through some operational challenges.”

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“But they will not affect the services and support we provide to the people in need in Saskatoon,” he said in an email.

He confirmed there have been management changes, but said personnel matters will not be discussed in the media.

A Jan. 20 letter from Lighthouse management said the ousting of Windels and the immediate replacements created uncertainty, and managers called for mediation from the Saskatchewan government’s Dispute Resolution Office. The office also provides facilitation and conflict resolution to organizations, including non-profits. Requests are made voluntarily through a confidential application process, according to a provincial government spokesperson.

The five fired managers and directors were among the nine people who signed the letter, according to sources.

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Fire at the Lighthouse causes $ 10K in damage

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In December 2021, the Saskatoon Fire Department identified 42 fire codes and 12 property maintenance violations at the Lighthouse. The issues date back to an inspection conducted in April 2021.

During a Jan. 20 interview, Assistant Fire Chief Yvonne Raymer said staff at the Lighthouse were making progress on the deficiencies.

Lighthouse officials have also discussed a maintenance plan to prevent further fire safety issues, Raymer said at the time.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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