Plans for transitional housing sees setback

There's only one non-profit organization considered qualified to run a new transitional home in Whitehorse for people with mental illnesses.

There’s only one non-profit organization considered qualified to run a new transitional home in Whitehorse for people with mental illnesses. And this organization’s bid for the contract was over budget, so the Department of Health and Social Services cancelled the tender.

The department insists that the project, to house people who are homeless or hard to house, is still going forward and everything will open on time in July.

They are negotiating with the qualified organization to try and get things within budget.

All of this is within the rules of the tendering process, according to health spokesperson Pat Living.

But nobody is being very forthcoming with any details.

In March the Yukon government issued the tender looking for a non-profit group to run the day-to-day operations of a new transitional home. The Health Department would handle any treatment.

According to government documents, the new facility will house people with “diagnosed, persistent mental health challenges” who are homeless or in an unstable housing environment.

Residents could live there for between six months and two years while they work towards living more independently. Skill development will include cooking, finances, cleaning and reading.

The cancelled tender was made public Monday on the government’s website.

It initially looked like Health Minister Mike Nixon would answer questions about the tender’s cancellation, but late yesterday afternoon questions were referred to the department.

Three organizations submitted proposals by the time the tender closed, said Living. But only one of those three was “technically qualified.”

Living said she didn’t have details on how the other two contenders didn’t meet the project’s criteria. Living also said she didn’t know how over budget the qualified organization’s bid was. She refused to name the organization.

The qualified group was actually offering the government more than what it asked for, said Living. That could explain why the budget was higher than expected.

They had expanded the scope of the programming that they were willing to offer and the number of staff, she said.

The new transitional home will be at the former home of the Options of Independence Society on Fourth Avenue. The facility is designed to house between five and eight clients.

When that group, which offers supportive living for people with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, moved into a bigger facility in February of last year, the building went back into government stock.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Artist’s rendering of a Dairy Queen drive-thru. At its April 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved a zoning change to allow a drive-thru at 107 Range Road. Developers sought the change to build a Dairy Queen there. (Submitted)
Drive-thru approved by Whitehorse city council at 107 Range Road

Rezoning could pave the way for a Dairy Queen

xx
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

Most Read