Kate Mechan, Safe at Home’s implementation manager, speaks during a two-day human rights commission conference in Whitehorse on June 26, 2018. The Safe At Home 100 Homes campaign is set to receive $46,000 after Whitehorse city council voted July 27 in favour of accepting the amount being provided specifically to help address homelesseness. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

City accepts funding to address homelessness

$46,000 will go towards 100 Homes campaign

The Safe At Home 100 Homes campaign will get underway with $46,000 after Whitehorse city council voted July 27 in favour of accepting the amount being provided specifically to help address homelessness.

As Kate Mechan, Safe at Home’s implementation manager, said in a July 28 interview the cash infusion means the 100 Homes campaign can be developed and then implemented with a focus on working directly with landlords to help those who need housing attain it. As the title suggests the goal is to help find 100 homes. There’s a number of people with trouble finding housing, who with the right front line supports in place would do well with private market rentals, she said. This will see work done with the private sector to help ensure that happens.

As she told council via conference call during the July 27 meeting: “We need more forums, more one-on-one engagement” with landlords in addressing homelessness and this program will focus on that.

“The idea’s really in its infancy,” Mechan said, noting there’s a number of initiatives with similar goals across the country that will be explored as work gets underway on the local program.

While the details of the campaign have yet to be determined and confirmed, she said she envisions a dedicated campaign coordinator being in place that would oversee it and work with landlords.

As Mike Gau, the city’s director of development services, stated in a report to council ahead of the vote, the city was informed in early June by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities community response program (which is administering the funds) that Whitehorse was one of 73 of Canadian cities selected for funding.

The funding itself comes from the Canadian Medical Association Foundation and is in place to address COVID-19 impacts on homelessness in municipalities. Mechan said the global pandemic has highlighted the importance of safe housing for everyone.

In his report to council, Gau pointed to the city’s ongoing involvement along with other governments in the Safe at Home plan that aims to end and prevent homelessness in Whitehorse. The Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition administers the funds for the Safe at Home implementation manager and thus would receive the funding for the 100 Homes campaign under the Safe at Home plan.

After the city learned it would receive the $46,000, staff asked the community advisory board for the Safe at Home Plan for a recommendation on how to use the funding.

“(The advisory board) responded with a proposal that the gift be used to fund development and roll-out of a ‘100 Homes Campaign’ working with landlords to accept more people at risk of homelessness or to prevent evictions and therefore prevent homelessness,” Gau said.

“This initiative strongly supports the overall Safe at Home plan and responds to the impacts of COVID19 by reducing the risks of exposure within a vulnerable population.”

The campaign will take a collaborative approach and involve Safe at Home partners, service providers and those with lived or living experience of homelessness, Gau said.

“It will be built on the learnings of similar landlord engagement strategies in Penticton, B.C; Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton, Stratford-Perth-St. Mary’s, Dufferin County and Peel Region in Ontario,” he said in the report to council.

It goes on to state the 100 Homes Campaign fits well with the criteria of the FCM for the funding.

“The gift is intended to complement, not to replace or displace existing sources of funding provided by YG or federal programs,” Gau said.

Mechan said she’s pleased the ongoing work to address homelessness is being supported by the community.

“It’s really exciting for Safe At Home,” she said.

Council members were vocal in their support ahead of the vote, also praising the work of those involved with Safe At Home for their efforts.

“I just see this as a real positive,” Coun. Jan Stick said.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Housing and Homelessness

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

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes


Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read