YWCA, urgently rehoming families, pleads for cash only

Smoke rises from the remains of transitional family housing on Yellowknife's 54 Avenue on October 2, 2018
Smoke rises from the remains of transitional family housing on Yellowknife's 54 Avenue on October 2, 2018. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

The YWCA is urging Yellowknifers to help families affected by the Rockhill fire with cash donations, not clothing or other items.

Families in 33 units of transitional housing at Rockhill, on 54 Avenue, lost their homes in a devastating fire on Tuesday morning.

The YWCA told Cabin Radio it needs cash donations, not items, while it works to find those families new, temporary places to live – and longer-term homes.

The City has opened the Multiplex and Fieldhouse to help the operation.



“Right now we are working with the GNWT to set up a registration centre at the Fieldhouse, so families can register and we can get them the immediate services that they need,” said YWCA spokesperson Alayna Ward.

“Our housing director is also meeting with one of our housing partners to look at accommodation options, and we are exploring other, long-term options as well.”

Ward said it was “too soon to tell” what those longer-term options might be.

“Obviously, everyone is very concerned,” she added. “This is the top priority right now. ”



‘We don’t have the capacity’

Ward repeated the YWCA’s plea for residents to give cash at this stage of the operation to rehome families, as there is currently no way for the organization to manage donations of furniture, clothing, or other items.

Donate: Give money to the YWCA online via Canada Helps

“We would ask that, as much as we appreciate everyone’s offers of various items, we just do not have the capacity or the space to accept them right now,” she said.

“We’ve had people drop off things at the Fieldhouse or Multiplex but we have nowhere to put them.

“We would ask that people concentrate on financial donations, which have been pouring in – and we are so grateful for the support from everyone in Yellowknife and even across the country. Monetary donations are really where you can make a difference right now.”

Ward said the YWCA’s attention will turn to donations of furniture and clothing once it has successfully found homes for the displaced families, in the coming days.