Just before Christmas, Blood Ties Four Directions Centre got the boot.
The support agency for those struggling with HIV AIDS and hepatitis C had rented office space in the Yukon Inn complex for the last six years.
But in December, executive director Patricia Bacon was told her lease would not be renewed.
Her office was part of a larger rental agreement with a client who wanted a big chunk of the Yukon Inn complex.
“I guess, having one renter for a whole lot of space is better than a bunch of broken-up spaces,” said Bacon.
“So, at the beginning of December we found out we’d have to move by the end of January,” she said.
“It was a little stressful—actually, a lot stressful.”
Bacon called a realtor to get some help finding a place, but in the end, the new locale came to her.
Chocolate Claim owner Glennis Baltimore heard about Blood Ties’ predicament and gave the organization a call.
“She had a property she thought might work for us,” said Bacon.
“We took a look and it was ideal.”
Next to the big red building that houses the coffee shop, Blood Ties’ new office at 307 Strickland will be in a small residence that used to house a funeral parlour.
It’s a little smaller than the old space, and costs a bit more, “but it’s very fair in terms of market value,” said Bacon, who’s signed a three-year lease.
Covering the rent shouldn’t be a problem, she added. “I’ve talked with our territorial (government) funder.”
The move will take place soon.
“The movers will come and pack up on Friday, January 30th, and we will be open for business on Monday, February 2nd,” she said.
“We don’t want to interrupt our needle exchange or drop-in, especially at this time of year.
“People come in to get warm, have coffee, or get new mitts—they’re looking to connect.”
The new location will have a separate back entrance for needle exchange, added Bacon.
“It’s a nice set-up.” (Genesee Keevil)