Pitch the tents

Pitch the tents Re A Big Tent Community, Yukon News, May 27: With summer just around the corner Whitehorse's housing crisis is making its mark on the downtown core. Many community members are more likely to express their concerns this time of year. Why?

Re A Big Tent Community, Yukon News, May 27:

With summer just around the corner Whitehorse’s housing crisis is making its mark on the downtown core. Many community members are more likely to express their concerns this time of year.


Because more attention is brought to the impact that homelessness has on tourism, local business, and community esthetic.

What is often overlooked is that these are the very same individuals who have just lived through a long Yukon winter and, despite widely held beliefs, these same individuals were homeless in the winter too.

The difference Ð homelessness becomes more visible as the tents come out.

The Yukon Anti Poverty Coalition was encouraged to read Christina Asp’s letter to the editor on May 27.

She brought to light the gravity of the housing crisis and that a tent city is being considered by those who are likely to remain unsheltered over the coming months.

Asp also underlined the value of working together with compassion and understanding to enact solutions to homelessness.

As we understand it, although a tent city is being considered, a location has yet to be determined. As she suggests, beside the Salvation Army is a very unlikely option.

The coalition recognizes that Whitehorse’s housing shortage does not stop at sheltering those who access services at the Salvation Army.

Low vacancy rates, unaffordable home ownership and a boom in employment are all contributing to the current crisis.

The coalition’s report, A Home for Everyone: A Housing Action Plan for Whitehorse, highlights the wide spectrum of pressing housing needs. We are calling upon Whitehorse, Government of Yukon and Yukon First Nations to lead the community in implementing both short and long-term solutions.

The coalition and its housing task force have invited Whitehorse, Yukon government, Kwanlin Dun First Nation, and Ta’an Kwach’an Council to find solutions to the summer housing crisis. The Housing Task Force believes creative, safe options exist and need to be implemented now.

Nevertheless, the task force also understands that those in need of immediate shelter are tired of waiting for someone to step up to the plate and make an announcement. It’s quite possible a tent city may become a reality in the very near future.

Overcoming this housing crisis is not insurmountable, nor should we use it as an opportunity to judge those who find themselves without a home.

The question is no longer why do people find themselves without, but what are our community leaders willing to do about it today?

Kate Mechan

Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Diane McLeod-McKay, Yukon’s Ombudsman and information and privacy commissioner, filed a petition on Dec. 11 after her office was barred from accessing documents related to a child and family services case. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government rejects Ombudsman requests for documentation filed to Supreme Court

Diane McLeod-McKay filed a petition on Dec. 11 after requests for documents were barred

Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens, left, celebrates his first NHL goal with defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 22 in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)
Cozens notches first NHL goal in loss to Capitals

The Yukoner potted his first tally at 10:43 of the second period on Jan. 22

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming, actress charged after flying to Beaver Creek for COVID-19 vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

Most Read