Inmates help build Habitat for Humanity home

Anyone driving by the Whitehorse Correctional Centre this month will likely hear the unmistakable sound of nail guns firing and hammers pounding away.

Anyone driving by the Whitehorse Correctional Centre this month will likely hear the unmistakable sound of nail guns firing and hammers pounding away.

That’s because four inmates have been working on pre-fabricated outer walls and a deck for a Habitat for Humanity Yukon duplex that is being built this summer in the Whistle Bend subdivision.

The inmates, all of whom have some carpentry experience, have completed the walls three weeks ahead of schedule and are currently working on the deck.

“They’re already finished and I couldn’t believe it, because the project was supposed to take until the end of the month,” said Valerie Mosser, deputy superintendent of programs at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre.

“They finished the walls in five days so we’re looking at this thinking, ‘OK we’re done, build the deck now!’”

The inmates were chosen to take part in the project based on interviews, their willingness to contribute and their past work performance, Mosser said.

“They’ve been very positive in the building and that factored in as well.”

This isn’t the first time the correctional centre has partnered with Habitat for Humanity Yukon, Yukon Housing and the Yukon government in a construction project.

They worked together on a triplex located in the Ingram subdivision in 2012, too.

The Whistle Bend duplex, Habitat’s second in the neighbourhood, will be constructed to SuperGreen standards. That should ensure that the home will be well insulated, air tight and well ventilated.

The pre-fabricated walls, about six of them, will soon be taken by trailer to Whistle Bend, Mosser said.

Working on the project gives offenders pride and satisfaction, she said.

“It allows them to give back to the community as well,” she added.

“We’ve seen that in past with other projects we’ve done. Not only are they giving back but they’re learning some skills and tool safety.”

Habitat for Humanity Yukon director Terry Rufiange-Holway said the idea for the partnership came to him after a program that once allowed offenders to work on the actual building site fell through.

“I thought, there has to be a way to get these guys involved, to have a training opportunity so they can learn marketable skills to take back to their communities,” he said.

“I’ve been down south to Edmonton and Lethbridge where they have pre-fab plants, and so I thought that’s the perfect thing that we need up here. I thought who better to run it than guys who maybe don’t have enough programs, which is something we often hear in the media.”

Habitat for Humanity Yukon is currently in the process of selecting which families will live in the duplex.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

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

Just Posted

From Whitehorse to the Whitecaps

Joe Hanson is starting his second season with the Vancouver Whitecaps academy

Mount Lorne Mis-Adventure Trail Race doesn’t miss a step

Blue skies and sunshine for a chilly fall race

Canada Summer Games postponed

Yukon Canada Summer Games athletes will now work on mastering skills in preperation for 2022

Site selection for battery project draws ire of nearby landowners

Yukon Energy is accepting public comments on three possible sites for the project

Taking a closer look at the cosmos

Star gazing party scheduled for Sept. 18

Yukon government releases new guidelines for COVID-19 symptoms and sending children to school

The advice sorts symptoms into three categories: red, yellow and green

Nominations closed in Watson Lake byelection

Four candidates are running for mayor

Baggage screening changes begin

Passengers are asked to arrive earlier than normal in order to accommodate the new temporary system

Yukon Government extends education review

The final report is scheduled for release in March 2021

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Lawsuit against Freedom Trails settled

The suit was dismissed with consent of all parties

Tank farm takes another step towards development

OCP designation passes second reading

Climate change strategy targets 30 per cent reduction in territory greenhouse gases by 2030

The strategy includes rebates for electric vehicles but puts off mining targets for two years

Most Read