With no local group willing to take over the Inuvik Emergency Warming Shelter, the GNWT is now anticipating it will keep possession of both it and the Homeless shelters for at least the next year.

A spokesperson for Housing NWT said the government received three expressions of interest at first, but only one was completed fully.

To complicate matters, that lone expression of interest only wanted to operate the Inuvik Homeless Shelter, not the Inuvik Emergency Warming Shelter which is part of the package.

”Housing NWT is exploring how best to address this application, given the intent was that a community organization would operate both shelters in Inuvik to maximize efficiencies,” said Housing NWT communications manager Cara Bryant. “At this time, it is still Housing NWT’s intent to work with the proponent to develop an approach.

“Housing NWT remains committed to returning the Inuvik shelters back to the community and ensuring the important services the shelters offer are available to the people that need them.”

However, she conceded it was “highly unlikely” the operation would be handed back to a local group by the GNWT’s own deadline of Aug. 31, 2022.

Instead, Bryant said the GNWT was preparing to keep the shelters running until a permanent solution can be found and is now advertising for shelter workers and supervisors with at term until Aug. 31 of next year.

“Housing NWT is working to ensure that the shelters have appropriate staffing levels,” she said. “After Housing NWT has an agreement in place, we will work with the new operator to explore the possibility of transitioning existing shelter.”

Inuvik Homeless Shelter is a ‘dry shelter’ which does not allow intoxicated people to stay there, while the Warming Shelter is a ‘wet shelter’ that takes in people regardless of their state of intoxication.

The GNWT took over the shelters in July 0f 2021.

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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