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Day shelter for homeless people opens in Hay River

A day shelter for homeless people in Hay River has opened at the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

A new day shelter for homeless people has opened in Hay River.

It began operating earlier this month at Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre with the financial support of the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority.

Erin Griffiths, the CEO of the health authority, announced the opening in a Dec. 17 news release.

The day shelter will complement the overnight emergency shelter currently operated by the Hay River Council for Persons with Disabilities in the Kujat Building on Industrial Drive.

The new day shelter will be able to provide basic services including warmth from the cold, food, washrooms and a place to rest for approximately 15-20 individuals.

"With colder climate approaching, we are very pleased to be able to provide this service to members of our community without a place to go during the day," Griffiths stated in the news release.

She also recognized the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre's role in the project.

"We are very grateful for our community partners who have stepped forward to provide this much needed service," she said.

Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre will operate the day shelter until June 2021 under a $112,213 contract with the health authority.

It accepted a proposal from the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre for day shelter services on Nov. 23.

The current hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

That is anticipated to be expanded to seven days per week as staffing levels increase.

Programming and access to wellness workers will also be part of the service.

The day shelter will also ensure social distancing practices are in place and will adhere to Covid-19 guidelines established by the chief public health officer of the NWT.