North

Yellowknife sobering centre's permanent location delayed 6 more months

The centre will continue to run out of the Salvation Army for the time being, where it’s been operating since November.

Contract to build permanent centre awarded in February to SDR Contracting Ltd.

The Salvation Army will continue to host the sobering centre while the permanent location is undergoing construction. (Alex Brockman/CBC)

The sobering centre in Yellowknife will have to wait up to another six months to move to its permanent location.

In a press release Wednesday, the Northwest Territories' Health and Social Services Authority announced the centre will continue to run out of the Salvation Army for the time being, where it's been operating since November.

The Salvation Army was meant to be a temporary solution for the centre while a new permanent location downtown Yellowknife was being renovated.

Cots in the men's section of the temporary Yellowknife sobering centre. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi)

In November, Nathalie Nadeau, director of child, family and community wellness for the authority, told CBC it planned to have the new location renovated by the end of March.

That was to prevent a gap in services after the initial lease with the Salvation Army ended around that time.

However, a contract for the renovation of the permanent location wasn't awarded until the beginning of February, so SDR Contracting Ltd. Construction, which won the contract, has only just started construction.

The new location on 50th Street, next to the Northern Lites Motel and across the street from the Northern News Services newspaper office, would also house a day shelter for homeless people.

The centre offers a space indoors for people to sober up from 2 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily. 

Once moved in, this would make the centre's third home.

The first temporary sobering centre was set up at the Yellowknife Community Arena. The City offered the arena as a temporary home last summer after many failed attempts by the territorial government to find a location. It needed to vacate the arena for fall programing, and found a second temporary location at the Salvation Army.

According to the press release, the sobering centre will continue to run "through the transition into its new location."

That move is expected in the next six months.

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