Four furnished bachelor suites are now open for people facing homelessness in Behchoko.
The goal of the new building is to provide housing to stabilize individuals and work with the community to provide services they might need. The home will run according to the Housing First approach, where permanent housing is the first step out of homelessness and other needs such as job or life skills, mental health or addictions are addressed once the primary need of housing is met.
With a population of just over 2,200, Behchoko has the second longest public housing waitlist in the territory. As of May 1st, 128 people were on this list, the vast majority waiting for one-bedroom units.
Across the territory, there is high demand for housing for single people. Director of strategic planning with the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation Revi Lau-a says eight units of bachelor suites are planned for Yellowknife in 2019-2020.
The Behchoko building is part of the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation’s Northern Pathways to Housing Program. In addition to the Behchoko unit, the program has also built single-person housing in Fort Simpson and Aklavik.
The house is funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation ($130,000), the NWT Housing Corporation ($250,000) and is a partnership with the Rae-Edzo Friendship Centre (Tłı̨chǫ Łeàgı̨ą Tsʾı̨ı̨lı̨ Kǫ).