The new daycare and family program centre on 54 Street, expected to open in March. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/Moose FM.)
Yellowknife’s Centre for Northern Families will soon be splitting into two locations. That’s according to Bree Denning, executive director of the Yellowknife Women’s Society, which operates the centre.
The Centre for Northern Families held an open house of its new building dedicated to daycare and family programs Thursday.
Denning says the move was necessary as demand for the centre’s shelter and family services has increased over the years.
“We’ve definitely seen a demand for this for quite a while now,” she said.
“It’s only now that we’ve actually had the opportunity to purchase a new space and make these changes.”
With its current location on Franklin Avenue, the centre has to end daycare and family programs around 7 p.m. to open their shelter for intoxicated women to access their programs.
Now a new, ‘quieter’ location on 54 Street will be dedicated to diversifying the centre’s family programs and offering evening and weekend activities, while their old location will begin offering 24-hour shelter services.
“We’ll be going to 24-hour services so that women who have been using substances can still access the building during the day,” explained Denning.
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They’ll also be renovating their old building’s basement to have single-room occupancy units for women.
The 54 Street location still needs to go through the final approval process, but Denning says they’re hoping to move in by the end of March. Once completed, it will be a stand-alone location.
By expanding to two buildings, she says this opens both the centre and shelter up to do more in the community.
“There are demands for services both on the shelter side and on the family program side, so we’re able to meet those needs,” Denning said.
“What our programs and services exist for are to meet the needs of women and their families in our community.
“So when we see a need, that’s our mission to try and find a way that we can change our programming and services to meet it.”