The Town of Inuvik has yet to write a letter of support for the proposed Beaufort Delta Detox Centre, something Coun. Alana Mero suggested is because of the proponents’ unfocused proposal.

Joey Amos, manager of the John Wayne Kiktorak Centre, stands in the new space his centre has now that Next to New is no longer in operation. He’s still lobbying for a detox centre in the community.
Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

“To call it a detox centre, it’s just not accurate,” said Mero at the town council meeting Wednesday, Nov. 22.

Coun. Clarence Wood had questioned why it was taking the town more than a month to write a letter of support.

Mero said the people proposing the centre had asked for feedback on their proposal and she told them what they were outlining was not a detox centre.

“They need to basically pull back and look at what they’re trying to do because they’re basically trying to offer a full-on treatment centre,” said Mero. “They need to focus, they need to decide where their limits are (and) what could be offered.”

She also suggested they get on the same page as the Department of Health to make sure the GNWT is moving in the same direction.

“I think they have the best intentions, but if we’re going to help them, I think we need to help them to be successful rather than to send something off that gets turned down and then having to start again,” said Mero.

Mayor Jim McDonald said a letter of support will be written but there are still some considerations about the proposal to clear up first.

Joey Amos, manager of the John Wayne Kiktorak Centre and main driver behind the detox centre, said his proposal hasn’t changed.

“What we presented to the town council back in the spring has not changed and at that point in time there was a motion that was to be made to give us this letter of support, which we have not seen yet,” said Amos, adding that he has been in contact with the town about it since.

He said the board’s vision for the centre is still the same.

“We are still looking for a bona fide detox centre, period,” said Amos.

His proposal includes giving people in search of detox a place to come safely and receive services to help them.

Amos is currently seeking a facility that could host the centre, after which he plans to submit proposals to various levels of government to obtain funding.


Extra space at John Wayne Kiktorak Centre

The closing of the Next to New used clothing store adjacent to the John Wayne Kiktorak Centre means the shelter has extra space to house guests.

Amos is using the space to separate sober and intoxicated residents.

“Some of our guys who are sober and need a good night’s sleep, we’ve put them in that area, and on our other side it’s for our folks who are kind of high and (we) want to make sure that they are not causing a disturbance for those that are trying to sleep,” said Amos.

The centre has averaged about a dozen people per night since reopening Sept. 20.

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