Federal funding of $860,180 for two NWT homelessness prevention projects in Indigenous communities was announced on Aug. 1 at the NWT legislative assembly.

Upgrades and operations at the Inuvik Homeless and Warming Shelter through Housing NWT will benefit from $532,590. The other $327,590 will go toward to The K’asho Got’ine Housing Society in Fort Good Hope for the Ka’du’yi’le Supportive Living Program that assist with capital upgrades, programming, housing and referral services.

During Tuesday’s announcement, NWT MP Michael McLeod stated that wildfires, the pandemic and economic and environmental hardships have contributed to the rising numbers of homeless people who find themselves in unsafe and unstable situations.

The funding comes from Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, which was launched in April 2019. It’s a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness across Canada. The program provides direct support and funding to designated communities, Indigenous communities, territorial communities and rural and remote communities across the country that help reduce the stress of the homelessness.

Paulie Chinna, minister responsible for Housing NWT, described the program as “such a good fit for the North.” She described it as community-based and adaptable, it keeps decision-making at the local level and gives communities greater flexibility to address local priorities.

“Housing Northwest Territories’ mission is to increase the well-being of individuals and communities by providing fair access to quality housing supports for people who need it most,” said Chinna. “This can only be accomplished through partnerships like these, with federal funding supporting the projects that are making a difference in our residents’ lives. The Inuvik Homeless and Warming Shelter provides a safe place for those in need, and this funding will support the important programs and services it provides.”

Kaicheng Xin

Kaicheng Xin is a Multimedia Journalist with NNSL Media. You can reach him at kaicheng.xin@nnsl.com

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