'Tent city' still providing refuge for Whitehorse homeless
The cluster of tents, some swaddled in tarps for extra protection, sprouted up right below the premier's office in June and slowly grew over the summer.
This week a travel trailer joined the collection.
Forty-seven-year-old Piroska Szucs and her boyfriend bought the trailer to park at tent city because they had nowhere else to go. Szucs works at a local restaurant while her boyfriend has a job at the remote Cantung mine, just across the Yukon border in the Northwest Territories.
Originally from Hungary, Szucs lived in London, Ont. before coming to the Yukon. She was shocked by the lack of affordable housing Whitehorse and the extent of homelessness.
She's not sure how long they'll camp beside the government building, but they bought a generator for the trailer so they'll have heat and power as the temperatures drop.
The encampment is a glaring example of the Yukon's housing crisis, an issue that's front and centre for all political parties during the territorial election campaign.
And it'll be one of the first things the winners of the Oct. 11 vote will have to face when they show up for work.
Sixteen-year-old Ken Shore didn't even know an election was underway, saying he's more preoccupied with basic survival. He can't live with his parents, but he's hoping he can move in with his girlfriend before the snow flies.
Shore attends an alternative learning program, partly for the food they offer as part of the package, he said.
Although the government hired a consultant in the summer to help 'tent city' residents find permanent homes, since he moved there a month ago nobody has come to talk to him, he said.