20-year tradition may end
YWCA says it's being pushed out of NUP

by Marty Brown
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 14/97) - For 20 years the YWCA has had a contract to provide emergency short-term accommodation at Northern United Place.

But that tradition, in a city known for transient workers and hard-luck stories, may soon come to a end.

And YWCA executive director Lyda Fuller wonders where low-income families will stay if her shelter really is shut down.

When Northern United Place was built, the YWCA was invited to sign an agreement with the NWT Housing Corporation and NWT Community Services, which they did.

But Fuller said the NWT Housing Corporation now wants the YWCA to break its lease, which has another five years to run, and leave Northern United Place.

Fuller said the housing corporation wants to make sure the lease goes to an agency with assured funding, such as Aurora College.

"The NWT Housing Corp. fears we'll loose our funding," she said. "Housing wants us out fairly quickly so they can renovate for Aurora College student accommodations."

Jim Nelson, vice-president of finance and administration for the NWT Housing Association, said he's been helping the YWCA try to come to grips with its financial difficulty.

"We can't allow a growing deficit," he said. "But we can't push them out of Northern United either," he added.

"We've been a funding agency for the Y's deficit. They have a problem with a runaway deficit problem."

When the YWCA first came to Yellowknife in 1966, one of its main functions was to provide short-term accommodation for families in transition.

A stakeholders meeting for the YWCA has been scheduled for Mar. 20 at the library meeting rooms at 7 p.m. where this issue is expected to be explored further.