An influx of government cash means Hospice Yukon can buy the house it has called home for the last 17 years.
Premier Darrell Pasloski and Health Minister Mike Nixon announced the $220,000 contribution yesterday.
Lori Eastmure, co-chair of Hospice Yukon Society, said the organization has wanted to own its own space since its early days.
“This really was a dream. We explored ways, over the years, we could figure out how to fundraise to buy our location and it just looked like it was impossible to do.”
Hospice Yukon offers grief counselling, palliative support, professional support for caregivers and other services dealing with death, dying and grief.
The organization began 26 years ago. It called a handful of different locations around Whitehorse home until settling into a tiny rented house on Jarvis Street.
It looks like any other small home in the downtown area. That setting works for Hospice Yukon, because it helps make people feel comfortable, Eastmure said.
“When people are at that point where it’s about losing a loved one, or facing their own mortality if they’re palliative, it’s a pretty emotional time,” she said.
“We get that. We want to be really inviting to them when they make that decision to reach out for our services.”
The idea of buying their location was always put on the organization’s backburner, she said. Buying it would take too much time, energy and resources.
“We decided in the end that we just couldn’t afford to take the time away from what we do. We need to be available to our community,” she said.
But about three months ago their landlord offered to sell them the home “way below market value,” she said.
The organization went directly to the premier to ask for help. After a meeting, Pasloski was onboard, she said.
“It’s kind of like we had 25 years of hoping to make this happen, and then all of a sudden it just happened, like overnight.”
The government money covers the cost of the house and some repairs, such as a new roof.
Eastmure said being somewhere permanent is important.
“For 17 years people have known where we are, and we want people to know where we are when they need us.”
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