YWCA NWT HISTORY

Serving northern families for 50+ years

Here at YWCA NWT, we see the value in everyone. We want to be a catalyst for positive change, and since 1966 we have worked tirelessly to be a voice for positive change for northern women and families.

YWCA NWT milestones:

1966 - YWCA Canada and YWCA Toronto answer a request from government to provide housing for a growing population of single, working women in Yellowknife. A local committee is struck to establish a YWCA in the Northwest Territories

1968 - The new YWCA Yellowknife opens the doors of a seven bed residence on Matonabee Street, and moves several times to continue expanding.

1969 - YWCA opens its first summer camp for children (later taken over by the City).

1972 - YWCA opens first day care centre in the NWT in Yellowknife, and continues to expand child care spaces through the decade. These day care programs lasted until the mid-1990s

1974 - YWCA opens the first after-school program - at Mildred Hall School - at the request of the school board. That program continues today at every school in the city, and in both French and English

1978 - YWCA Yellowknife expanded housing options yet again, by opening a large residence in Northern United Place.

1986 - The 12 bed Alison McAteer House is established and named after a former YWCA president and city councilor. YWCA Yellowknife opened its first group home for adults with disabilities who need support.   A second group home for adults with disabilities was opened in 1991.

1995 - YWCA Yellowknife closed its group homes and moved adults with disabilities into their own shared apartments.  The YWCA continued to provide in-home support in a less restrictive environment.

1996 - The Alison McAteer House family violence shelter housed at NUP moved into a separate building, specially renovated to provide safety for women and children.

1997 - YWCA Yellowknife moved out of Northern United Place to make way for the Aurora College campus. The transitional and emergency housing programs for families moved to the 39-suite Rockhill apartment complex on 54 Avenue.

2000 - YWCA begins offering Project Child Recovery, a program that helps children who have witnessed violence learn the skills to cope with their experiences.

2003 - YWCA begins offering in-home support and outreach for people with chronic psychiatric illness. YWCA purchases the first of five homes for clients who need in-home support

2006 - YWCA offers first Power of Being a Girl Conference for girls ages 12-14 to build confidence and self-esteem.

2008 - YWCA partners with Taiga Adventure Camp to provide a summer camp for both pre-teen and teenage girls in Fort Smith. Tagia achieved independence in 2012.

2009 - YWCA begins offering GirlSpace to girls ages 8 to 13 after school. The program's goal is to empower girls.

2011 - YWCA Yellowknife hosts YWCA Canada's annual general meeting in Yellowknife, the only time the meeting has been north of 60.

2013 - YWCA withdraws from providing housing to people with disabilities and mental health issues. Construction begins on the new Betty House, transitional housing for women and women with children.

2014 - YWCA opens Lynn's Place, (formerly named Betty House).

2017 - YWCA takes over operation of the NWT Family Centre and opens Sutherland House, a shelter for women and their children, located in Fort Smith.

2017 - YWCA Yellowknife changes its name to YWCA NWT to reflect its broader focus and mandate on working with women and families across the NWT.

2018 - A devastating fire destroys Rockhill family transitional housing building, including all YWCA NWT administration offices. The loss of the building displaced 33 families and severely impacted the organizations operations. YWCA continued to provide support to families and helped re-house many of them in the private rental market. 

2020 - The Federal government gave YWCA NWT funding for a Safe Homes pilot project to find safe spaces for women fleeing violence in small communities with no women's shelter. 

2021 - YWCA NWT launches awareness campaign about the crisis levels of family homelessness in the territory and the lack of affordable housing. Also launched fundraising campaign to build additional affordable family housing in downtown Yellowknife. 

2022 - Construction begins on new 21-unit housing building in downtown Yellowknife, opening anticipated Summer 2023.