Sobering Centre Opens – Government of Northwest Territories

YELLOWKNIFE, July 17, 2017 – The new Sobering Centre program recently announced by the Minister of Health and Social Services, Glen Abernethy, began operating as scheduled on Monday, July 17, 2017.

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 led to an agreement to temporarily host the program in the Yellowknife Community Arena until a longer term location is found.

The program will be operated by the NWT Disabilities Council under a contract with the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority, and will operate in conjunction with a street outreach service being provided by the Yellowknife Women’s Society under a contract with the City of Yellowknife.


“Focusing on mental health and addictions by ensuring services are delivered locally with culturally-appropriate methods and creating opportunities for healthy lifestyles is a priority for the 18th Legislative Assembly,” said Minister of Health and Social Services Glen Abernethy. “This program is yet another example of building stronger relationships with community governments and thereby enhancing community wellness and safety.”

  • Glen Abernethy – Minister of Health and Social Services

“Establishing a sobering centre was one of the eleven recommendations addressed in the Yellowknife Homelessness Road Map Action Plan and is a part of Council’s goals and objectives to revitalize our downtown. Together with HSS and NTHSSA, we are focused on improving the health and well-being of all Yellowknifers and look forward to this new program and partnership.”

  • Mark Heyck – Mayor of Yellowknife

Quick Facts

  • The City of Yellowknife is working in collaboration with the RCMP to establish the Street Outreach Service, which will work in collaboration with the sobering centre.
  • 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 is providing a van.
  • As part of the program, Naloxone kits will be available on site and staff will be provided training on how to administer the medication, which is used to block or reverse the effects of opioids.
  • The program will operate each day between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.  The final operating schedule will be determined in consultation with the Street Outreach Service 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.

For more information contact:

Jhillian Adams
Senior Cabinet Communications Advisor
Department of the Executive
Government of the Northwest Territories
Box 1320 Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9
Tel: (867) 767-9140 ext. 11096
Fax: (867) 873-0169
Email: [email protected]

Nalini Naidoo
Director, Communications & Economic Development
City of Yellowknife
Email: [email protected]


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