Hay River is receiving money from the GNWT to set up an emergency shelter for homeless people.

The Kujat Building on Industrial Drive has been repurposed to support an emergency overnight shelter, with a capacity of 15 people.

Housing minister Paulie Chinna said the shelter’s implementation was an important step to helping vulnerable residents in Hay River.

“This shelter is more than a roof over their heads, this is the first step to helping our residents get back on their feet,” Chinna said in a statement. “I am proud of the collaboration between the GNWT and the Hay River Committee for Persons with Disabilities to get this shelter up and running.”

GNWT is providing two chunks of funding: $290,000 for shelter operations and $56,000 for supplies required for the shelter.

“Homelessness in Hay River is a serious issue,” Pravina Bartlett, Executive Director, Hay River Committee for Persons with Disabilities, said in a statement. “This project is critical in supporting our community members who are experiencing housing instability.”

The Moving Forward Emergency Shelter for Men and Women, established by the Hay River Committee for Persons with Disabilities recently opened its doors on September 1. 

That space has 10 beds, and is running at a reduced capacity because of COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions.

Chinna announced a public emergency in Yellowknife last week to establish an emergency day shelter in Yellowknife.