Starting Monday, the City of Yellowknife will have a street outreach program. The service, funded by the city, will be headed up by the Yellowknife Women's Society.
Staff and volunteers from the society will monitor the downtown area with the mandate to help intoxicated people in need.
According to a city press release, the program will run seven days a week from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., with staff and volunteers operating on foot and in a marked van.
"This model has worked very well in other jurisdictions and we feel that the outreach program will complement additional homelessness initiatives currently underway," stated Mayor Mark Heyck in the press release.
"In addition the program should ease the call volume to emergency responders."
The program will provide intoxicated people in need of help with care and transportation to a shelter or a temporary sobering centre located in the Yellowknife Community Arena. The arena is not in use during summer months.
Funds to run the program until Dec. 31, 2017, were set aside in the 2017 budget. Continued funding for the program into next year will be determined during the 2018 budget process.
The idea of a street outreach service combined with a temporary sobering centre was announced earlier this year.
City says the public can help
Starting Monday, a person can call a street outreach hotline phone number if there is concern that an intoxicated person needs assistance.
The street outreach hotline is (867) 445-7202.