The Salvation Army is planning an expansion of its Bailey House, Yellowknife’s transitional home for men trying to get off the streets, by seven apartment units over the next few months.

For six months now, the transitional home on Franklin Avenue has been at full occupancy of its 32 rooms, causing a real problem for any new potential occupants trying to find a place to stay.

“It is plum full of people, and we need to look at other avenues to be able to increase housing supports,” said Dusty Sauder, executive director of the Salvation Army in Yellowknife.

He says that between Bailey House and the emergency shelter, those two havens for homeless men in the community have been running almost full ‘all the time.’

“The shelter is constantly pushing near its designed limit (of 49 occupants) … and Bailey House is full so obviously the need is there,” said Sauder.

“And if the need’s there then we need to look at expanding the services.”

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The Salvation Army in Yellowknife.

The Salvation Army in Yellowknife.

The plan is still awaiting approval from Salvation Army headquarters in Toronto – where it is going through a program review – along with assessing the financial feasibility of the Yellowknife chapter’s ability to operate and maintain the added facilities.

There are two different sizes of units within Bailey House – one described as more of a hotel-room style with a full bathroom and a spot for a bed and some dressers with shared kitchens.

The other is more of bachelor suite with a full kitchen of its own with everything else included within the unit.

The proposed new units would have one shared kitchen and one shared common area while the seven apartments would contain just a closet and bed, according to Sauder.

“We need to try to keep costs down to be able to have it feasible,” he explained.

The NWT Housing Corporation will be providing $300,000 in funding to the project. According to Sauder, they hope to have it finished by February 2017 once it’s approved.