Fort Smith’s Trailcross Youth Treatment Centre will return under a new operator, Nova Scotia-based SHIFT, by January.

In a news release on Thursday morning, the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) confirmed the new contractor has signed a three-year contract.

SHIFT will spend November and December preparing the facility and training staff before youth start to be admitted once more in the new year.

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The eight-bed residential treatment program has a budget of $1.43 million. It provides services to youth aged 12-18 who have social, emotional, and behavioural issues.

“SHIFT provides youth programming that includes meaningful experiential programming delivered from a lens of trauma informed practice. They will provide counselling as well as cultural and on the land programming that integrates traditional knowledge,” stated the health authority’s news release.

Trailcross, formerly operated by Wood’s Homes, closed on October 31 when the previous contract ended.

The request for proposals was extended, and then extended again, before one bid was finally received.

NTHSSA did not respond to Cabin Radio’s questions about what arrangements were made for youth still in care at the time of the closure, other than to say the health authority would “work to ensure all clients continue to be able to access the services they require.”

More follows.