Michael McLeod, Paulie Chinna and Eleanor Young, at Tuesday's housing announcement at the NWT legislature. Emma Stuart-Kiss/Cabin Radio
The federal government is providing a total of $860,180 for homelessness prevention projects in Inuvik and Fort Good Hope.
The Inuvik Homeless and Warming Shelter will receive $532,590 for essential upgrades and operations, according to a Tuesday press release. This includes funding for Indigenous-focused programming, emergency shelter beds and referral services.
The K’asho Got’ine Housing Society’s Ka’du’yi’le Supportive Living Program will receive $327,590 for capital upgrades to the men’s transition home, programming, housing, and referral services.
“This is one of the first homes of its kind in a small community in the Northwest Territories, run by and for our community,” Arthur Tobac, business manager at the housing society said in a statement. “In most cases, people from small communities like Fort Good Hope who need housing supports and integrated case management need to leave their home community to get that support.”
Tobas said funding has allowed residents needing housing support to stay in the community where they are surrounded by family and friends and can stay connected to their culture.
The funding was announced at the territory’s legislature building by NWT MP Michael McLeod on Tuesday. He was joined by Paulie Chinna, NWT’s minister of housing, and Eleanor Young, president and chief executive officer of Housing Northwest Territories.
“The Government of Canada is proud to partner with organizations that run vital programs that address homelessness across the Northwest Territories,” McLeod said. “Before someone can imagine a future for themselves, a new job, healthy habits and a thriving family, they need their basic safety and security.”
The funding comes from Canada’s Reaching Home homelessness strategy that aims to prevent and reduce homelessness across the country. It also supports the federal government’s national housing strategy, which aims to reduce chronic homelessness across Canada by 50 percent by the fiscal year 2027 to 2028.
“The Reaching Home funding program is such a good fit for the North, because it is community-based and it’s adaptable,” Chinna said. “This keeps decision making at the local level and gives communities greater flexibility to address local priorities, including homelessness prevention, and programs designed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable population.”