Women's shelter and sobering centre in the works for Fort Good Hope

Fort Good Hope man sentenced to 13 months for 2 assaults in community

The small community of Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., is looking at turning two vacant homes into a sobering centre and women's shelter.

The K'asho Got'ine Housing Society has secured two housing units from the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation, including a four-bedroom house, and a three-bedroom house with a basement suite.

"A safe house for women is needed, and the other one is either going to be an emergency sobering shelter or a transitional house," said Arthur Tobac, who works for the housing society.

The community of about 515 is in a housing crisis. In December, it hosted a three-day forum to try to address the need. The chief pointed to unemployment, alcohol addiction, and family dysfunction as factors, but ultimately there aren't enough places for people to live.

There are about a dozen boarded-up buildings in the community.

There's now a request for proposals for a safe house, the sobering centre and women's shelter. The housing society is looking for contractors to determine if the two existing houses are suitable for renovations.

Tobac says the community is on a deadline for the projects.

"Time-wise it's very tight. We're trying to spend some money this year, and hoping to carry some of that into next year to get some of the construction of it started."

Tobac says the winter road season, and barge schedule are two other factors at play.

A transportable sawmill has also been ordered. It's making its way up the Mackenzie Valley winter road, passing through Wrigley this week.

"The log homes of the late '70s and early '80s are still standing, and in better shape than some of the newer units. Maybe that will be our next move," Tobac said.

The requests for proposals on the three housing projects are due on March 7.