The Whitehorse Emergency Shelter will be under new management starting early next month.
A partnership between the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) and Connective, formerly known as the John Howard Society, will operate the shelter on a daily basis.
Connective is a non-profit group that provides support to marginalized people.
“Our goal is to have a smooth transition that uses the shelter in the short term, then we will try to foster an ongoing partnership with the local community,” said Mark Miller, CEO of Connective.
CYFN will be the subcontractor and the Yukon government will continue to fund the shelter.
The shelter was first run by the Salvation Army, then the Yukon government took it over in 2019.
This is not Connective’s first partnership with CYFN.
The two organizations have been working together to manage Housing First in downtown Whitehorse, which provides long-term housing for people in need, starting in April 2021.
There have been many complaints surrounding the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter.
Local businessmen say the area has seen an increase in drunkenness, violence and vandalism.
CYFN chief executive Peter Johnston says there is already a public safety plan in place.
Johnston hopes the partnership can address concerns from businesses about housing,
“Everything points back to this difficult issue we are facing,” he said. “It’s going to take everything we can to end this and hopefully in 10 years we won’t need a shelter.”
Connective says programs at the shelter will operate as usual, while CYFN will provide culturally appropriate programs.
The Yukon government says it always intends for the refuge to be managed by a non-governmental organization or by the Yukon First Nation or other aboriginal organization.
Handing over the keys on October 1st.