Yellowknife Community Arena opens as temporary day shelter, again

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The Yellowknife Community Arena on Oct. 27, 2021. The location is functioning as a temporary day shelter, public health authorities said on Wednesday. (Walter Strong/CBC - image credit)
The Yellowknife Community Arena on Oct. 27, 2021. The location is functioning as a temporary day shelter, public health authorities said on Wednesday. (Walter Strong/CBC - image credit)

The Yellowknife Community Arena started serving as a temporary day shelter again, on Monday.

In a news release Wednesday, the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority said shelter users can get meals, showers, some health care, cultural and support programming, and case management at the temporary location.

It added the shelter is operating seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be open "until it is no longer required."

"The opening of this location will help in further reducing the potential spread of COVID-19 and provide increased safety for shelter users," the release stated.

It added that transportation to the shelter from downtown is available and will be assessed on an ongoing basis.

Second time

This is the second time this fall the community arena is being used as a temporary day shelter.

On Sept. 17, it started operating as a day shelter, six days after the combined day shelter and overnight sobering centre on 50th Street closed closed indefinitely on Sept. 11, after the city started experiencing community transmission of COVID-19.

The City of Yellowknife and the government of the Northwest Territories have been locked in a debate about where to locate a new shelter.

Unable to come to an agreement, the territorial government declared a state of emergency on Oct. 15 so it could establish a "more-permanent temporary day shelter at the old [Northern] Frontier Visitors Association location," using modular buildings from the Tłıchǫ Highway construction project.

The new shelter is expected to open in late November.

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