Government of the Northwest Territories Confirms location of long-term Sobering Centre

YELLOWKNIFE (September 12, 2017) – The Minister of Health and Social Services, Glen Abernethy, announced that the government has signed a lease for a long-term location of the Yellowknife Day Shelter and Yellowknife Sobering Centre. The building is located at 5111 50th Street.

Finding a location for the Yellowknife Sobering Centre which can also support the Day Shelter program has been a priority of the Government of Northwest Territories. The new location was chosen after assessing 22 potential sites in order to find a suitable location.

The new combined Day Shelter and Sobering Centre location requires extensive upgrades to make it ready to receive clients.  The GNWT is working with other partners to quickly assess the scope of renovations that will be required to ensure that all regulatory requirements are fulfilled.

Since early July, the Sobering Centre program has been operating out of the City of Yellowknife’s Community Arena, but that space will be required for other programming beginning in mid-September.  Once the final scope and timing of the required renovations are known, the GNWT will work with partners to identify another interim location to ensure that services to clients continue during the transition period, as both the Sobering Centre and Day Shelter programs prepare to move to the new location.

With current operations of the Yellowknife Sobering Centre, at its temporary location at the Yellowknife Community Arena, there is already evidence of helping those in need. An average of 10 individuals have been accessing the centre daily with about half of these clients coming to the Sobering Centre by way of the City of Yellowknife’s Safe Ride Program.


“Our government is committed to making sure Northerners struggling with mental health and addictions get the help they need locally and with culturally appropriate methods. This new location will allow intoxicated clients who need a warm safe place to recover from the effects of alcohol and other drugs to access support services under one roof and a safe place to be during the day. I would also like to thank our key partner, the City of Yellowknife who has provided tremendous support to this program.”
-Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services

Quick Facts

  • The new location will also accommodate between 30 and 40 Day Shelter clients at any one time and as many as 26 clients (men and women in separately designated spaces) in the Sobering space.
  • Clients are to be a minimum of 19 years of age and the length of stay is a maximum of 17 hours per visit.
  • The new location is single story, accessible and has approximately 440 square meters (4750 square feet) of space.
  • The 5-year negotiated lease has been signed between the GNWT and Northern News Services (building owner).
  • The next steps for the program will be the finalization of the design for the renovations and the issuance of a procurement process to secure a contractor to complete the construction.

For more information contact:

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator
Cabinet Communications and Protocol
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: 867-767-9140  Ext. 11092
[email protected]


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