First transitional housing project for women opens in Whitehorse

A renovated building in Whitehorse is now serving as a six-bedroom halfway house for women in the Yukon.

The Takhini Haven building, located on the jail’s property, is part of a pilot project.

“This is what a typical room will look like,” says Gigi McKee, regional director for Connective, the non-profit organization that is maintaining the facility. “We are in the process of just fitting up some of the final details like blackout blinds and things like that, that will be necessary for summer.”

The building is being used as a living and resource space for women involved in the justice system.

“Here in the territory, supports and services for justice-involved men have existed one way or another for over thirty years, but equivalent services for have been limited for women over the years,” said McPhee.

Until now, there hasn’t been a women’s halfway house in northern Canada.

Yukon Justice Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee says the project will offer gender-responsive, culturally sensitive programs for women on bail, have conditional sentences or are in the process of reintegrating into their communities.

“This programming will allow women who might otherwise be otherwise unsafe returning to their community, who are involved with the justice process, to be in a safe place to address some of their concerns and issues,” she said.

The $1.2 million halfway house project is still in the process of hiring staff and is hoping to open at the end of March.

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