Nearly 400 men who had their lives changed for the better over the past decade.
That’s what was being honoured and recognized last week as Bailey House, the transitional home located at Yellowknife’s Salvation Army building downtown, celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Folks from across the city and beyond – from homeless people to VIPs – turned out to listen to speeches and enjoy a free barbecue which included birthday cake.
Jason Brinson is the Corps/Church Leader at the Salvation Army.
“It’s an important day to celebrate Bailey House. It’s been here for a lot of years. When people are trying to integrate back into society following addiction, it’s important for them to have a safe place to live while they are finishing that journey,” Brinson said. “We want to provide safe place so they have the best chance of success when they leave us.”
Guest speakers included former Yellowknife Centre MLA Robert Hawkins who was the MLA when Bailey House opened as well as Julie Green the current Yellowknife Centre MLA.
“People see healing for men as important as healing for women because men are sometimes perpetrators violence against women and they need healing because that is often coming from a place of trauma, anger and helplessness,” Green said.
Bailey House is named for Gordon and Ruth Bailey – the long time Old Town residents – who are now deceased – who opened the doors of their home for many years to men who were down on their luck and more often than not Indigenous.
They often had drug, alcohol and mental health issues, and in some cases, had just been released from jail.
That’s still the case today for many of the home’s usual 32 residents, many of whom would likely be out on the street if not for the compassionate good work done by the Salvation Army staff.