North

Yellowknife's joint sobering, day centre finally opens downtown

The renovated building on Yellowknife's 50th Street boats more staff and can accommodate more people than the previous day shelter and sobering centre.

Renovated building on 50th Street boasts more staff, higher capacity

The building on Yellowknife's 50th Street will be open 24/7, with the day centre running for 12 hours, and the sobering centre running for 22. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

Yellowknife's long-awaited joint sobering centre and day centre on 50th Street has finally opened.

The centre provides a warm place for people to get off the street during the day, and acts as a safe space for intoxicated people to sober up.

The sobering centre opened Thursday, and the day centre opened Friday. Both operate out of the same building.

The building is open 24/7. The day centre runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., while the sobering centre runs for 22 hours a day, from 10 a.m. to 8 a.m.

It's located next to the Northern Lites Motel, and down the street from the liquor store and the city's previous day centre, which closed its doors on Thursday.

The new downtown centre was expected to be fully renovated back in March, but construction took longer than expected.

The sobering centre can accommodate 27 people at a time, and the day centre can accommodate 60. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

Higher capacity

The new sobering centre can accommodate 27 intoxicated individuals at a time, which is seven more than at its previous home — the Salvation Army.

Similarly, the day centre can now house 60 people for the day, while the previous day centre had a capacity of 50.

In an email, N.W.T. Health and Social Services Authority representative Lisa Giovanetto said the joint centre boasts a number of improvements from the previous, separate centres.

There are more staff at the new location, which has showers and laundry facilities. There are also more programs, such as group therapy, that tackle topics like healing, anger management, and healthy relationships.

An integrated case management worker will be available to the centre's clientele. That person will help people set goals for themselves, and help them navigate existing services in the city to find programs that meet their needs.

The territorial government is hosting an opening celebration at the centre on Monday at 9 a.m.

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