We offer supported, temporary and emergency housing options to women and families. Contact our Director of Housing at (867) 873-5760 for more information or an application form.
Specialized Programs for transitional housing clients:
Safe Housing for Women
Lynn's Place is for women who need safe housing after leaving a violent relationship, or who are ready to find stability in a safe environment. It contains 18 suites on three floors. Rent is affordable, using CMHC affordability guidelines. The building is formally known as Lynn Brooks’ Safe Place for Women and is also called Hoti Etsanda Ko, in the Weledeh dialect of the Tlicho language, meaning healthy living place. Applicants are assessed for need and willingness to engage in the programming offered at the safe housing building. Tenants are welcome to stay for up to three years. The women’s safe housing building is not an emergency shelter. Those in immediate danger should contact YWCA NWT Alison McAteer Family Violence shelter at 867-873-8257 or the RCMP.
FOCUS Employment Program
FOCUS invests in people first and assists clients in YWCA transitional housing transition into employment by providing clients with basic career development support, advice, and guidance. It includes everything from addressing the root causes of why clients cannot find and keep employment in the first place, to assisting with resume preparation and job search, and money management and budgeting after they receive their first and ongoing paycheques. This employment project is part of the inclusive programming for women and men who want to make positive changes in their lives. Many of these people are low-income, have been unemployed long-term, are receiving income assistance or unemployment support, need intensive personal support, and have had previous or current issues with finding and keeping suitable employment.
Finding and keeping a job is much more complex than simply preparing a resume and finding a job that matches their skill set. Many of the clients that the YWCA works with have been out of the workforce for long periods of time, are new immigrants who are unfamiliar with the Canadian workplace, and/or have various issues and impediments that affect finding a job (e.g. lack of training/education, lack of affordable childcare, addictions etc). This program invests in people first and deals with all the factors that impede people from finding and keeping suitable employment. Moving forward, YWCA will be working with clients and local employers to do job placements.
Thank you to the Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Education, Culture and Employment, for their ongoing support of this program.
Cooking and Nutrition
YWCA's 'Housing, Food, and Families First' project teaches basic principles of good nutrition in a respectful way, family meal preparation and celebration with others, provide families with nutritious, culturally-appropriate food, and provide support for families to live healthy lives with dignity. Food security at the community level is when all citizens have reliable, personally acceptable, and nutritious diet choices through a sustainable food system that maximizes healthy choices, community self-reliance, and equal access for everyone.
Paying for food is a problem when you don’t have enough money, unless you are a very skilled shopper and a resourceful from-scratch cook. Families often do not have enough money to buy food, particularly in Yellowknife where food prices are extremely high. Some larger families have less than $300 a month for food, and some single parents or women who have recently separated from their partners have very little financial resources due to a variety of factors. Rent costs, bills and children’s expenses often take priority over food. Not only that, people may be ill or have personal situations which make it hard for them to get or prepare nutritious food. By providing groceries and meat at a reasonable price, as well as providing cooking classes that make the most of a dollar, YWCA staff will help ensure that families are fed and, most importantly, that they can focus on the root causes that put or are keeping them in poverty in the first place. When a person is hungry or does not have adequate shelter, they are unable to focus on getting and keeping themselves out of poverty. This includes a breakfast and lunch program, a group cooking class, and special event meals for families. Thank you to the GNWT Anti-Poverty Fund for their support of this program.
The Food Box Program
This program allows individuals to purchase meat at a much lower price than prices at the supermarket and offers a 'hand up' and not a 'hand out'. YWCA secures meat at cost from a local butcher, and these boxes are portioned and sold to families at a reduction of 50% on the most expensive part of their grocery bill. We focus primarily on meat in the food boxes as families have access to donated produce and other groceries from Food Rescue and Yellowknife Co-op. Last year, 96 families and 254 people benefitted from the Food Box Program. Thank you to United Way NWT for their support of this program.
Literacy & Computer Skills
Family support workers and other skilled local organizations work with clients and children to assist with literacy skills and basic computer skills such as word processing, email, and more. And when parents are attending programming, kids can enjoy books and resources from the NWT Literacy Council to stay engaged and interested in learning and reading.
We are sad to report that Rockhill apartment was destroyed in a fire in October 2018, destroying 33 apartment units and our main administration building. We are still providing support to our Transitional Housing Program clients located in apartments across Yellowknife but are unable to accept new clients at this time for the family housing program.
What makes transitional housing different from an ordinary housing is the care and attention family support workers, who work with each family to look at issues such as debt, addictions and violence that have destabilized the family’s housing in the past. They work with families to make positive changes (such as repaying rental arrears and saving for a damage deposit) and to learn new skills such as cooking, literacy, budgeting, etc. After a stay of a year or so, newly-stable families move on to permanent housing in public housing or market rentals.