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Yellowknife Women’s Society Acquires new Van for Street Outreach Program

After a successful GoFundMe campaign and the support of the community, the Yellowknife Women’s Society was able to reach their goal and acquire a new Street Outreach vehicle.

As part of the Yellowknife Women’s Society, the Street Outreach Program was first launched in July of 2017. Since then, they have been working to provide various needs to the street-based population of Yellowknife like water and snacks. Other supplies carried by the van include a first aid kit, naloxone for preventing drug overdoses, condoms, and pamphlets to direct people to any relevant community services that could be able to help them. They will even offer rides to individuals who may need to get to a shelters, homes, and health service providers.

The extreme cold experienced in January made it clear, however, that the sole vehicle that they had access to was simply too old to perform the tasks demanded by the Program. Renee Sanderson, the Executive Director of the Yellowknife Women’s Society explained that, with plenty of community support, they were able to turn their luck around.

“We got funding from the City, and we also had the GoFundMe that was created, and then the Elks topped that up. With those funding we were able to purchase the new van.”

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Sanderson also shared some of the shortcomings about the previous vehicle that their new van has been able to make up for.

“The one we had, the Caravan, just wasn’t made to be on the road for as long as we are, it also wasn’t wheelchair accessible, so with the new one, we’re able to pick up those with mobility issues, we have the ramp for wheelchairs now. The new van is suited to be on the road for as long as we are, so we’re really excited for that.”

While the new vehicle has been secured, there are still events coming up for the Yellowknife Women’s Society to help raise some money. One is the “Hitchin a Ride” show at the Top Knight on Friday, April 5th and Saturday, April 6th, and the other is a Taylor Swift Themed event at the Raquet Club on May 4th.

“The funds from these events, we want to put towards getting more supplies for the van. There’ll be more harm reduction supplies, the warm clothing boxes are always a big need, and while we always used to give out snacks, the manager of the Street Outreach Program has extended that to have meals cooked. In the beginning, I think we were averaging ten meals a day, and I think we’re up to 25 now.”

All of the money raised from these events will go back into purchasing the food and supplies for the Outreach van.

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