SideDoor and YWCA looking for shared downtown Yellowknife location
Both were displaced when N.W.T. gov’t declared state of emergency and established second day shelter
The SideDoor youth organization and the YWCA both say they need a downtown location in Yellowknife temporarily to continue delivering their programs.
In a joint news release, the non-governmental organizations said that they were "displaced due to the decision to open a second day shelter for adults in our promised location."
Last month, the government of the Northwest Territories acquired the former mine safety building used by the SideDoor youth centre by declaring a state of emergency and establishing a second day shelter there.
Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs Paulie Chinna said at the time the decision offered an immediate solution to address the "emergency faced by our homeless residents."
Distancing requirements that are part of public health measures in the territory at the current day shelter meant a second shelter was needed.
'This is a plea for us to find a solution'
SideDoor and the YWCA say they were in the process of finalizing a plan to partner and use the former mine safety building when the N.W.T. government declared the state of emergency and established the city's second day shelter there.
Tammy Roberts, the executive director of the SideDoor, said it has been operating out of the Hope's Haven youth shelter, but that it has been "overcrowded" there.
While the former mine safety building will be available in May, the two organizations are looking for a temporary location to offer services ranging from employment and leadership programs to providing a safe space for families fleeing violence.
"This is a plea for us to find a solution," said the press release.
They are looking for a space that contains some offices, a kitchen and washroom, along with one or more open spaces to deliver programs for children, youth and families.
Several people have already reached out to help, said Roberts.
Although the N.W.T. government has not identified a building that could solve the problem, they have been supportive, said Roberts.