Home Base YK introduces newly renovated space for youth
Home Base YK opened its doors to Yellowknife’s community with a Thursday open house, allowing residents to see the group’s newly renovated youth housing and shelter.
The space, which includes a recreation room, a Zen room, a shelter space, dorms, and a kitchen, was painted and decorated by a group of youth from Montreal.
Those students held a fundraiser before travelling to Yellowknife last year.
Home Base YK’s director of programs and operations, Traci Mercer-Sproule, said the renovations were necessary to make the space less “institutional.”
“This is their home, so we try to make it as homey as possible and we try to leave no youth out,” she said.
The shelter side of the building has separate rooms for male-identifying and female-identifying youth, a bathroom and a dining room.
Youth are welcome to spend the night at the centre, with the opportunity to shower and eat breakfast the following morning.
The dorm has a 10-person capacity and currently houses nine people, who are welcome to decorate their room and make it their home for however long they spend at Home Base.
Along with housing, Home Base operates a youth centre in downtown Yellowknife from 12pm-8pm daily, as well as an independent living program near City Hall.
“Basically, any youths have somewhere to go 24/7, and that is our goal,” said Mercer-Sproule.
“The whole idea is someone would come into the shelter, we assess them and see what’s going on, and then we move them into the dorms, we teach them life lessons, parent them basically.
“Then when we think they’re ready, and when they think they’re ready and comfortable, we move them into our housing program.”
Brady Daniels, the group’s recreation coordinator, says he works with kids on a day-to-day basis to “keep them busy.”
“It’s a really safe space that kids can rely on,” said Daniels. “I’m one of their most consistent relationships, and they can ask me to do anything and I’ll plan it. I’m really flexible that way.”
With an upcoming rap workshop, birthdays, and beach days, one youth said there is never a shortage of things to do.
“I really enjoy it, there’s a lot of good programs here,” they said.
“We usually have a dog here that we take out for walks and hikes every day, I really enjoy those. And I really do like the space.”