Steve Cardiff House could soon be homeless

For the last four years the Steve Cardiff House has provided a place for people to stay when they don’t have anywhere else safe to live.

For the last four years the Steve Cardiff House has provided a place for people to stay when they don’t have anywhere else safe to live.

It was a project built with services donated by businesses and community members. Now the group that runs the house is hoping the community will step up again.

The Steve Cardiff House needs a new home.

The tiny house needs to be off of its current piece of land by the end of August. The developer that has let the house stay on the land in downtown Whitehorse, is planning to build apartments there.

“We’re casting the net really wide and far. We believe that the way the community got behind us to get the project off the ground, we believe the answer is in the community,” said Patricia Bacon, executive director of Blood Ties Four Directions. “Somebody knows something somewhere or somebody has an idea somewhere.”

The 240-square-foot house works on the principle that it’s nearly impossible to deal with other difficulties in life if you don’t have somewhere safe to sleep at night.

Since it started, five people have stayed at the house for up to a year each. The tenant could be someone struggling with homelessness, coming out of a treatment program, or coming out of jail, for example, Bacon said.

If someone doesn’t have a place to sleep it’s difficult to have a conversation about medication, treatment, or other types of services, she said.

“It’s like ‘I don’t even know where I’m going to sleep tonight let alone how I’m going to store my medication so I can’t take my medication. Or, there’s no point in going down to the food bank to get a healthy food basket of groceries if I’ve got nowhere to put those groceries.’”

Without housing people’s situations can deteriorate, Bacon said.

“You might have a client who has health issues, they’re losing weight, they’re not able to stay on their medication,” she said.

“You’re trying to do some support around that to keep them healthy, and you can’t because you can’t even get passed the conversation of them being fearful, and unsure, and uncertain as to where they’re going to sleep.”

When someone is staying at the Steve Cardiff House they also get support from staff at Blood Ties.

“We come to visit them and we help them with case planning, we help them with goal setting, we help them navigate the health system and other things they might need in their lives.”

Over the years the house has had a positive impact on people, she said.

She’s seen people get back on medication, get out of the justice system and improve their lives.

“We had one tenant who had several years in a row of absolute homelessness and street involvement. After a year in the Steve Cardiff House they went on to have other housing and to continue to stay housed,” she said.

“It really turned things around for that person to finally, kind of, get off the street.”

A new home for the Steve Cardiff House should be close to city bus routes. The house needs about 600 square feet of space.

A downtown backyard or an undeveloped lot where it can be connected to utilities would be ideal, according to Blood Ties.

Bacon said it’s too soon for her to start thinking about the worst case scenario if no land is found by the end of August.

“My hope is that I don’t have to figure out what happens if we don’t find a home. Worse case scenario is we’ll lose the program and that would be a loss indeed. But I’m hoping that’s not going to happen”

Anyone who wants to talk about a possible home for the Steve Cardiff House can call 867-335-9067 or email: executivedirector@bloodties.ca or housing@bloodties.ca.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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