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Oct16MonNew shelter offers better resources for community. October 16, 2017
The Salvation Army in Yukon officially opened a new shelter in Whitehorse in October, with speeches from Army officials and other dignitaries, along with a tour of the Centre of Hope.
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- Territorial News
The grand opening event began with a prayer from First Nations elder Ann Smith, as the building is on the traditional lands of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council. Larry Bagnell, member of Parliament, Yukon Premier Sandy Silver, and Pauline Frost, Yukon minister of health and social services, all spoke to the importance of the new shelter to the community, the partnerships that made it happen, and the excitement of all that can be accomplished in the new centre.
Colonel Lee Graves, chief secretary, also spoke to the crowd of around 100 guests, and Peter Johnston, grand chief, Council of Yukon First Nations, presented him with a carving called “The Healing Spirit” for the building, which will be hung in a place of prominence.
The Centre of Hope offers 25 shelter beds, an increase from 14 beds in the previous shelter, as well as 20 transitional housing rooms, resource areas, recreation rooms, meeting space, computers to help with job searches, and more.
“The new Centre of Hope offers much more in the way of resources and opportunities than the previous shelter ever could,” says Ian McKenzie, executive director. “It allows us to better serve those who come to us and help them reach their goals.”
The soup kitchen in the previous facility averaged 206 meals a day, or 75,355 a year. With a large commercial kitchen, the new Centre of Hope will be able to significantly increase the amount of food it can prepare, store and serve.