The Yellowknife Women’s Society on Franklin Ave. will be getting a makeover, turning what are now bunk beds in a shelter into 16 suites for women facing homelessness or fleeing domestic violence.
The renovation project, which includes building the single-occupancy suites as well as new offices and an expanded kitchen and common area, is set to start late June and finish by mid-September. Project partners are finalizing their decision on which company will complete the renovation after releasing a request for proposals.
Partners in the project include De Beers Group, providing $250,000 and a project manager from Gahcho Kué Mine who will be managing the renovation. The owner of the building, the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, is putting $350,000 into the build.
“These changes will allow for the shelter to focus more of their energy on the actual individuals and addressing their needs that bring them to the shelter,” says executive director of the women’s society Bree Denning. “The project will create permanent, supportive housing for 16 women, so that they can improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing and access trauma and addiction treatment services.”
Denning says the goal is to provide stability for women facing homelessness and provide the possibility for them to move on to other, ‘less intensive supportive housing.’
The society is involved in other housing initiatives within Yellowknife, including plans to turn the Arnica Inn into 42 units of transitional housing. The society’s plans for the property were given Yellowknife city council support last month.