Hay River updates: Council sanctions temporary men’s homeless shelter

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Legislative assembly to begin new session

The second session of the 19th Legislative Assembly will convene on Feb. 5 in Yellowknife.

The new session of the territorial legislature will run until April 2.

The proceedings will be webcast on the Legislative Assembly’s website, as well as its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

Temporary shelter backed by council

At its Jan. 27 meeting, Hay River town council approved a development permit application to allow a camp trailer to remain as a temporary men’s homeless shelter.

The trailer is on the Old Town property of Rocky Simpson, MLA for Hay River South.

Hay River town council approved a development permit application to allow a temporary men’s homeless shelter on the Old Town property of Rocky Simpson, MLA for Hay River South. NNSL file photo

A number of councillors praised the volunteers involved in the initiative to create the shelter just before Christmas, especially Tom Makepeace.

“Having talked to some of the guys that have been staying there and Tom Makepeace, it’s five to six guys every night since it’s opened,” said Coun. Keith Dohey.

“There’s a clear, demonstrated need for it in the community, and something that I think as a council we need to keep hammering on our government and other organizations to make sure there is funding for our community for these types of things, and that we’re not leaving people out exposed to the elements.”

Mayor Kandis Jameson noted the men’s shelter arrangement is temporary as a search is on for funding for a more permanent shelter.

Council denies letter of support

Hay River town council turned down a request for a letter of support from the Tree House Drop-In Centre for its application for funding from the NWT Healthy Choices Fund.

The centre’s application is to seek support for a parents’ health safety program.

The Town of Hay River intends to submit its own application to the NWT Healthy Choices Fund to support its Summer Heat program.

“So we would be competing against ourselves if we passed this,” said Coun. Keith Dohey of the request for a letter of support, which was considered at the Jan. 27 meeting of council.

The town’s standard practice is to not offer letters of support to organizations where the town intends to submit its own application to the same fund.

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