Yellowknife Women’s Society Shelter to get makeover giving females more privacy

On hand Thursday at the shelter were, l-r, NWTHC President Tom Williams, Allan Rodel, General Manager of Gahcho Kué Mine, De Beers Group, Kelly Brenton, Social Performance Manager with De Beers Group, Housing Minister Alfred Moses, Monique Robitaille, Chair, Yellowknife Women’s Society, Rob Coolen, Project Superintendent for Gahcho Kue Mine and Shauna Morgan, Yellowknife city councillor. (Photo courtesy NWTHA)

The Government of the Northwest Territories and De Beers Group are partnering on a project that will renovate and reconfigure the Yellowknife Women’s Society’s emergency and transitional housing shelter on Franklin Avenue – what used to be known as the Centre for Northern Families.

At a news conference Thursday at the shelter, it was revealed that the project will transform some of the shelter space, which currently has short-term bunk beds, into 16 single-occupancy suites for women who are homeless or fleeing domestic violence.

This will enhance their privacy and personal security.

The new design will also include new offices for a doctor and a nurse and an expanded kitchen and common area.

In addition to providing $250,000 towards the renovations, De Beers Group will also be providing a certified professional project manager from the Gahcho Kué Mine to act as the project manager for the renovations, making an additional contribution in excess of $60,000.

The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation which owns the building, will provide a $350,000 contribution under the Housing Corp’s Community Housing Support Initiative.

The project is scheduled to begin by the end of June and be completed by mid-September.

“These changes will allow for the shelter to focus more of their energy on the actual individuals and  addressing their needs that bring them to the shelter. The project will create permanent, supportive housing for 16 women, so that they can improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing and access trauma and addiction treatment services,” stated Bree Denning, Executive Director, Yellowknife Women’s Society.   “The goal of the project is to address women’s homelessness by increasing their stability within the Centre and possibly allowing them to move on to less intensive supportive housing.”

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.