Council of Yukon First Nations and NGO selected to operate Housing First residence

By February 25, 2021News Release

February 25, 2021

The Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) and John Howard Society Pacific have been selected by the Government of Yukon to assume operation of the Housing First residence on Wood Street in Whitehorse as of April 6, 2021.

The two organizations have formed a new partnership that capitalizes on their mutual and individual areas of expertise. They recently submitted a joint proposal that meets all of the criteria outlined in the Expression of Interest issued by the Government of Yukon in October 2020.

The John Howard Society Pacific is a social service organization that operates throughout British Columbia and in Yukon. It has extensive experience delivering innovative and person-centered programs including housing, community-based residential facilities, outreach, and community services.

CYFN’s partnership on this project will ensure that the services and support delivered to residents are locally, contextually, and culturally relevant, to better support the residence’s many Indigenous tenants.


We are very pleased that the Council of Yukon First Nations and the John Howard Society are partnering together to assume operations of the Housing First residence. We are confident that they will continue to deliver the important services that help people achieve greater independence and foster positive community connections.
Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost

CYFN is enthusiastic about working in partnership with the John Howard Society. We look forward to introducing holistic and culturally-informed approaches to complement the John Howard Society’s strength in program delivery for at-risk persons.
Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston

We are thankful for the opportunity to work collaboratively with the Council of Yukon First Nations and Yukon government to assume operations of the Housing First residence in Whitehorse. We respect the great work of the Housing First residence team over the past year, and are excited to contribute to this well-established program. We are honoured to bring our shared values and extensive experience in housing, supervision, and low-barrier harm reduction services to support residents and the community.
John Howard Society Pacific CEO Mark Miller

Quick facts

  • The Government of Yukon has been operating the Housing First residence since February 2020, when the first tenants moved into the building.
  • Government’s intent has always been for the residence to be operated by a non-governmental organization.
  • The Housing First residence has 16 units and is currently housing 18 tenants.
  • The transition to the new operators will have no impact on the residence’s tenants. Service delivery will continue uninterrupted.
  • Housing First is an approach to ending homelessness that centers on moving people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing. It provides people with immediate access to housing with no housing ‘readiness’ requirements.


Renee Francoeur
Cabinet Communications

Patricia Living
Communications, Health and Social Services

Lael Lund
Council of Yukon First Nations

Andrea Takasaki (she/her/hers)
Senior Manager of Communications & Community Development
John Howard Society Pacific
604.872.5651 ext. 315