Interim Location identified for Sobering Centre Program Government of Northwest Territories

YELLOWKNIFE (June 14, 2017) – Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services, announced that an interim location has been identified for the Sobering Centre program in Yellowknife.  A collaborative effort by the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA), the City of Yellowknife and the Department of Health and Social Services has resulted in an agreement to host the program in the Yellowknife Community Arena until September 13, 2017.

The program will be launched on July 17, 2017.

The NTHSSA has reached an agreement with the NWT Disabilities Council to operate the Sobering Centre program, utilizing clinical support from within the NTHSSA.

City staff will continue to maintain and operate the building, on a cost-recovery basis (note that facility and operating costs are included in the HSS Sobering Centre budget).

The City of Yellowknife has reached an agreement with the Yellowknife Women’s Centre to deliver the Street Outreach Service portion of the program for which the RCMP are providing an unmarked van.


“Our government is committed to encouraging healthy lifestyles and strong families.  As part of this effort, we are addressing gaps in integrated community-based services for NWT residents.  The Sobering Centre program will be an essential part of combatting addictions in Yellowknife.  Meanwhile, we will continue to search for a permanent location for the program.”
-Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services

“The City of Yellowknife is pleased to see such a collaborative effort in addressing an important issue in our community.  The Community Arena is available, and centrally located.  We are grateful for the partnership with the RCMP for the Street Outreach Service, which is a key component of the success of the Sobering Centre.  There are many parts to a community solution and today we’ve taken the right steps, together.”
-Mark Heyck, Mayor of Yellowknife

“The NWTDC will continue to work, in collaboration with all partners, to provide supports to adults experiencing the complex and often disabling issues associated with homelessness.”
-Terry Hawkins, Board Chair NWT Disabilities Council

“The RCMP is pleased to be part of such a great effort in the Street Outreach Service. This service was one of the recommendations put forward by the Mayor’s Yellowknife Homelessness Road Map Action Plan, of which the RCMP participated. We support our partner agencies in achieving the establishment of this program, and are happy to have contributed in a collaborative manner.”
-Inspector Matt Peggs, Yellowknife RCMP Detachment Commander

Quick Facts

  • The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority – Yellowknife Region Is working to design a program for a sobering centre in Yellowknife.
  • The City of Yellowknife has been working in collaboration with the RCMP to establish the Street Outreach Service, which will work in collaboration with the sobering centre.
  • This program recognizes the importance of providing a range of supports for individuals who may be homeless and/or dealing with chronic mental health and addictions issues, and who need a place to go during the day as an alternative to spending their time on the street.
  • The program will operate 12 hours per day, seven days a week.  The final operating schedule will be determined in consultation with the Safe Ride program operators and other partners.
  • Final costs will not be known until program design is done and a longer-term location secured, but the budget for staff and program operations is approximately $900,000.
  • Although the facility will be available later in June, our contractor requires time to recruit staff and finalize program delivery details.

Media Contacts

Damien Healy
Manager of Communications
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
1-867-767-9090 ext. 49034

Nalini Naidoo
Director, Communications & Economic Development
City of Yellowknife

Marie York-Condon C/M
Sr. Communications Strategist/
Media Relations
G Division Northwest Territories RCMP
Yellowknife, NT
Work: 867-765-3709
Cell:    867-445-5188


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