Staff of the NWT YWCA accepting a cheque from Yellowknife accounting firm Crowe MacKay LLP. Caitrin Pilkington/Cabin Radio
The YWCA NWT has exceeded its goal of raising $250,000 to fund the purchase of furniture, supplies, and other essential items at the new 21-unit housing facility currently under construction in Yellowknife.
Alongside affordable rental units, the building will offer residents access to wraparound support services such as counselling, trauma recovery support, job training and youth programming. YWCA NWT administrative offices will also move to the new building to provide onsite support.
“This building will be a beautiful, accessible, welcoming space where families can move into stability and have all the essentials they need for a fresh start,” Kate Reid, YWCA NWT president, said.
Earlier this spring, the charity launched an online gift registry where donors could select items families would need for their new accommodations, called the Welcome Home campaign.
In March, they were still $70,000 short of their goal. But on Wednesday, the organization revealed that it had received more than enough funding to outfit each apartment with everything from appliances to bedsheets.
“We set an ambitious campaign goal to raise these funds in a short period of time, and we’re so thankful to our supporters who helped us exceed this goal and who believe in our work to help women and families reach their full potential,” Reid said.
The funding will also be used to furnish program rooms and a kitchen, which will offer residents meal services.
The campaign received donations, grants, and gifts-in-kind from Clark Builders, the Yellowknife Community Foundation, Dragon Toner Law Office, Crowe Mackay, DC Moving, the Yellowknife Elks Lodge #314, the NWT government, and Anti-Poverty Fund, as well as a legacy gift from a private donor.
The facility has yet to be named — the deadline for NWT residents to submit suggestions was on Monday, and the NWT YWCA has now begun its decision-making process.
“We are excited to hear input from the community and ultimately, celebrate the amazing accomplishments and hard work of one of these advocates through a permanent, meaningful name for this building,” Janet Toner, chair of the naming committee, said earlier this June.
A press release issued by the organization announced that construction is expected to wrap up this month and that families will begin moving in this August.
For residents, as well as NWT YWCA staff, this moment has been a long time coming. In 2018, a fire destroyed the YWCA’s Rockhill transitional housing facility and main office, and the organization has been working on a new apartment complex since 2019.
A ribbon cutting and opening ceremony will be held in September, at which point the new name of the building will also be revealed.