GNWT and City work to address homelessness following community forum

YELLOWKNIFE (May 5, 2016) – Minister Responsible for Homelessness Caroline Cochrane and Mayor of Yellowknife Mark Heyck look forward to working together to address homelessness following the Homelessness in Yellowknife: Community Partnership Forum held in Yellowknife on April 26-27.

As part of the road map for moving forward, two newly formed working groups will be tasked with implementing homelessness solutions.  The first group, led by the Mayor, will analyze and review the over 65 recommendations developed through the workshop and formulate plans for implementation. The second group, coordinated by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) in conjunction with non-governmental organizations, will be responsible for identifying and resolving barriers and duplication in current homelessness programming.

The two-day forum brought together major stakeholders involved in addressing homelessness, including all of the city’s sheltering agencies, other NGOs that address homelessness, federal, territorial, municipal and Aboriginal governments, the RCMP and representatives from the business community. Two of the main objectives of the workshop were to: define community assets, barriers and gaps to addressing and mitigating homelessness and to identify actions to utilize available resources.


“Over the two days of the Community Partnership Forum we saw friends, co-workers, leaders and storytellers come together to discuss common issues, learn about processes to build healthier communities, and commit to working together.  Now the challenge is with us, to turn the ideas into action.  The City of Yellowknife is honoured to lead one of the working groups and will work hand in hand with the GNWT on this territorial effort.”

  • Mark Heyck – Mayor of Yellowknife

“‘I am encouraged by the commitment and passion that the participants brought to the workshop.  Everyone recognized that this needs to be a community-driven effort if we are to make headways with this difficult problem.  We are in challenging economic times, but having persons with lived experience at the forum to tell their accounts first-hand, it reinforced that we need to coordinate our efforts not only for long-term progress, but for immediate results.”

  • Caroline Cochrane – Minister Responsible for Homelessness

Quick facts

  • The NWT Housing Corporation is writing to all workshop participants to ask them for any further solutions or assets they might wish to identify since the workshop took place.
  • Housing First, one of the responses considered in addressing homelessness is a program that provides immediate access to housing with no housing readiness requirements.
  • Yellowknife currently has two overnight emergency shelters to address homelessness for single adult men and women.
  • Yellowknife also has a youth shelter, for youth aged 16 – 24, as well as a family violence shelter for women and children.
  • There is also a day centre that operates as a wet shelter, but allows no drugs or alcohol on site. The centre also offers assistance in referring people to addictions services, community services and access to a telephone and computer.

Media availability

Minister Cochrane and Mayor Heyck will be available for media interviews at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 6 at Yellowknife City Hall.

Media contacts

Shaun Dean
Director, Cabinet Communications and Protocol
Government of the Northwest Territories
(867) 767-9140  ext. 11090

Nalini Naidoo
Director, Communications & Economic Development
City of Yellowknife
(867) 920-5660


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