The SideDoor resource centre for youth has found a temporary home: above Canada Post in downtown Yellowknife at 4902 Franklin Avenue.
Tammy Roberts, SideDoor’s executive director, said the building provided enough space to allow SideDoor’s programs to properly run after earlier plans were disrupted by the need for an emergency downtown shelter during the pandemic.
The temporary centre will help youth with their living arrangements, provide literacy and education programs, and host other youth-oriented activities.
“They’ve been really accommodating with getting us set up here. We’re really excited to be open to the public soon,” Roberts said.
Until now, SideDoor’s resource centre had been operating from another of the organization’s facilities, Hope’s Haven, which was too small to serve as a permanent home for the programs.
SideDoor had initially intended to reopen its resource centre at the former Mine Rescue Building, which the group had previously used.
However, in November, the GNWT declared a local emergency in Yellowknife that allowed the territory to co-opt that building and turn it into an emergency warming shelter.
Both SideDoor and YWCA NWT were displaced from the building in order for that to happen, forcing the two organizations to issue a public plea for help in finding somewhere new.
Roberts said YWCA NWT will share the temporary space with SideDoor. Its downtown location is crucial, she said.
“Most of the youth hang out downtown and are in the downtown area,” said Roberts.
“We’re always worried about youth walking in the cold and we had no transportation.”
Roberts now wants to find more ways to introduce people to SideDoor activities.
“I want to make sure that we’re really collaborating a lot with the community and bringing people to the resource centre,” she said.
The facility will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am until 8pm. Anyone looking for information can call (867) 766-3272.