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YHSSA Announces Next Steps for Day Shelter

Yellowknife (March 14, 2013) – Following positive discussions between the Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority (YHSSA) and their partner, the John Howard Society, and by agreement between these two agencies:

  • YHSSA will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the “Day Shelter” service to the homeless in the spring of 2013. 
  • The successful proponent for the Day Shelter as selected through the RFP process, will commence operation of the Day Shelter as soon as possible after the RFP is awarded. 
  • The John Howard Society will continue to deliver Day Shelter services until such a time as a new contractor commences services, as established through the standard RFP process used by government to select service providers.
  • YHSSA will work with the successful proponent to ensure appropriate job security for staff currently working in the Day Shelter, throughout the RFP process and up to and including the first three months after the RFP is awarded.

“YHSSA values the work that the John Howard Society has done to provide a Day Shelter service to support and provide shelter to clients from Yellowknife, NWT communities and Nunavut communities.  We want to personally commend the board and executive director, Ms. Lydia Bardak, for establishing a proactive vision and delivering this important program.”  “We also want to recognize the staff, for faithfully providing support on a day-to-day basis to clients and all of our community partners,” said Yellowknife Health and Social Services CEO Les Harrison.

The problem of homelessness is not going to fade away anytime soon.  It is important as we go forward, to turn our attention as a community, toward supporting the homeless and finding ways to engage them in proactive solutions that safeguard their health to the best degree possible.

For more information contact:

Michael Keohane
President John Howard Society
Tel: (867) 920-6508
Les Harrison
Chief Executive Officer
Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority
Tel: (867) 873-7224



In 2009, the Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority (YHSSA), in partnership with, BHP Billiton, the City of Yellowknife, and the Department of Health and Social Services, issued a request for proposals for a day shelter to serve the homeless of Yellowknife.  This was to be a pilot project for three years.  The successful proponent for this project was the John Howard Society of Yellowknife.  The pilot project was extended for an additional year, and is due to end on March 31, 2013.  In conjunction with its current partners, the City of Yellowknife, and the Department of Health and Social Services, YHSSA recognizes there is a continued need for services to the homeless population.

The Dene Koe Day Shelter has operated since October, 2009, by the John Howard Society through a contract with the Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority.  For the first three years, the funding arrangement was as follows:

  • $ 125,000/year – Department of Health and Social Services, GNWT
  • $ 50,000/year – BHP Billiton
  • $ 25,000/year – City of Yellowknife
  • Total funds provided for the project during the three year period - $ 600,000

For fiscal year 2012-13, YHSSA received $ 175,000 from the GNWT and $ 25,000 from the City of Yellowknife, for a total of $ 200,000.  The City of Yellowknife has offered to fund an additional $ 25,000 for fiscal year 2013-14, for a total commitment of $ 50,000 and the revised total budget available is currently $ 225,000.