People in Inuvik are worried about the future of the town's emergency warming centre.
The Inuvik Emergency Warming Centre Society had a meeting on Tuesday night, which was mostly in-camera for board members only.
People gathered outside the meeting to express their concerns but weren't allowed in, including employees and residents of the shelter.
The shelter's former executive director, Mary Cockney, was hoping to get some answers.
"It's so sad to see the residents. They don't know what's going on," said Cockney.
"From what I'm hearing, [the society] are saying they are running out of money. Why is that? When I was there they were getting a fair amount of funding."
The society was established in 2013 and relies on grants and government funding. The shelter is used by vulnerable people in Inuvik, many of whom are struggling with addictions.
Everything just started to fall apart. - Adam Kaglik, centre resident
Cockney, who left her position in April, said employees and residents are struggling with some decisions that board members have been making in recent months.
The centre had been facing issues with not being able to properly physically distance its residents, as it has a maximum of 23 people.
At the end of April, the centre temporarily moved from its original location on Berger Street to the Aurora College student residence when the pandemic hit. But then it was told it had to move back to the Berger Street location.
Many in the group outside the meeting on Tuesday said issues started around the time the most recent executive director, Paul Voudrach, parted ways with the warming centre, in mid-August. The position is now vacant.
Cockney and others said they have heard board members are now doing employees' jobs at the centre.
"Now the board members are working. Why is that? They are taking hours away from the workers saying they are saving money," said Cockney.
She said there should be "more than enough" money for two full-time and four part-time positions.
Adam Kaglik has been staying at the warming centre on and off for more than three years, and has heard the same thing.
He said he's seen a difference in how the staff have been treated in the last couple of months.
"Everything just started to fall apart … I've come forward to get support and to get rid of the toxic board members," said Kaglik on Tuesday.
The group said it's gotten to the point where employees have walked out of work in protest.
Kaglik said, as someone who depends on the shelter, he's nervous about its future and whether he'll have a place to stay.
"If it wasn't for the staff, we'd be homeless. I got out of the hospital last week not knowing what was going on when I got back. I was told they almost shut down because the staff members were going against each other," said Kaglik.
"What are we supposed to do? Go live under a culvert?"
Board to address questions next week
After the in-camera meeting, board members assured the group that the shelter is staying open.
However, members said they would not answer questions until next week when there will be a public meeting with all of its members present.
"Any questions and any concerns, and it will also provide a lot of clarity for anyone… so there is a clear understanding of what the goals of the society are and what services they can provide," said Evan Pound, who chaired the meeting, to the group gathered.
"Anything to be said now would not necessarily reflect the true accuracy of any of the concerns that appeared to be voiced today," he told CBC.
Many of the concerned residents and staff gathered again on Wednesday to meet with local leaders, in hopes that the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Town of Inuvik and Gwich'in Tribal Council will give them their support.