Tent city studied

The Yukon government has launched yet another study of the homelessness in Whitehorse. This one focused specifically on the campers who have pitched their tents on the lawn of the Yukon legislature. Last month Helen Hollywood, fed up with not being able to find an affordable place to stay, started camping on the lawn.

The Yukon government has launched yet another study of the homelessness in Whitehorse.

This one focused specifically on the campers who have pitched their tents on the lawn of the Yukon legislature.

Last month Helen Hollywood, fed up with not being able to find an affordable place to stay, started camping on the lawn.

Her protest has attracted other people facing similar problems, activists and a smattering of tourists.

There are now close to 30 tents set up in the grass.

[image2]

Last week the government put up a “no camping” sign which was quickly taken down.

The government claimed putting the sign up was a “mistake.”

This week they have hired a consultant to survey the campers.

“We want to help the individuals that need help and also want to provide alternative, safe, viable accommodations,” said Steve Nordick, the housing minister. “We just want to provide the help that’s needed.”

He pointed to some of the initiatives that the government recently undertaken.

Earlier this month, the Yukon government announced it was giving $1 million to Kaushee’s Place to help build secure and affordable apartments for women fleeing violence.

The government also announced the construction of additional affordable housing units for families in the city, and the transformation of the Alexander Street elderly home into a supportive-living facility for the disabled.

“In the end it’s trying to do what’s right,” said Nordick.

The government’s consultant started her work this week, going from tent to tent interviewing the residents of the makeshift neighbourhood.

How long the process will take, Nordick couldn’t say.

“The quicker the process the better,” he said. “The quicker we can identify safer viable accommodations for those campers the better and the quicker we can provide assistance to those who need assistance the better.”

With the need so great and change happening slowly it can be a source of frustration for many people.

The housing problem is something that Glen Koe has seen grow worse in the last few years.

While Koe doesn’t camp on the lawn himself, he regularly stops by the tent city to help out.

Getting people off the street and offering them a place to live would go a long way to solving many of the other problems these people face, he said.

“When you don’t have housing you’re lost,” said Koe.

Contact Josh Kerr at

joshk@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

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

Copies of the revised 2021-22 budget documents tabled in the legislature on May 14. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Liberals introduce new budget with universal dental and safe supply funding

The new items were added to secure the support of the NDP.

Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters on May 13. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Cap on rent increases will take effect May 15

The rollout of the policy is creating ‘chaos,’ says opposition

Yukon News file
A 21-year-old man is in custody after a stabbing in Porter Creek on May 14.
One man in hospital, another in custody, after alleged stabbing in Porter Creek

A police dog was used to track the suspect who was later arrested in a wooded area.

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Most Read