A recent influx of federal funding has made a variety of initiatives for fighting homelessness possible.
$1.6 million administered by Reaching Home Yukon is going out to fund organizations and projects to house and support those in need. The program’s overall goal is the elimination of chronic and Indigenous homelessness as well as preventing returns to homelessness.
The Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition has been administering and providing space for the Reaching Home Program for the Yukon.
Chantal Frances, one of three Reaching Home program officers administering the funds, said they are particularly excited about the program funding the purchase of five mobile homes; three will be set up in collaboration with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and the other two will be purchased in partnership with the Ross River Dena Council.
Frances said the homes are supported housing units which come with access to services to assist the families living there. She said the building of the supported housing in smaller communities such as Haines Junction and Ross River is important because those areas are lacking support services when compared to Whitehorse.
“We’re excited because it means actual housing for people creating a long term difference for them and for the community,” Frances said.
“The community will change because these families have a stable basis to continue on with their lives.”
Another recipient of money from the $1.6-million investment is the Safe at Home Society who are putting it to work keeping their 100 Homes campaign up and running for another quarter. The campaign works with landlords who are willing to assist those experiencing homelessness.
Frances said the relatively new program has found housing for 14 people in recent months, six of them children.
Money from Reaching Home is also going toward paying the salary of a housing stability worker for Safe at Home to assist people experiencing homelessness in their search for a stable home.
Other work coming about thanks to the funding includes Pride Yukon — Pride at Home’s hiring of community engagement staff to provide a variety of services in Whitehorse, Watson Lake and Dawson City.
Yukon University is assisting students with their search for housing and providing housing start-up kits.
Also funded are Skookum Jim Friendship Centre’s efforts to provide emergency housing to youth as well as adapt their regular service to the pandemic and Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre’s assistance with housing, meals and COVID-19 cleaning equipment.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org