NEWS RELEASE: CYFN responds to downtown Whitehorse safety concerns

By January 25, 2024News Release

WHITEHORSE – On February 1, the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) will formally launch the downtown mobile outreach service, as part of an overall strategy to provide supports and enhance safety in downtown Whitehorse.

The new downtown mobile outreach is intended to reduce barriers for vulnerable persons by meeting individuals where and when they need supports. The name Moccasin Mobile Outreach was selected to reflect the nature of the service and to provide cultural safety for Yukon First Nations and Indigenous people in the downtown core.

The service will operate after hours and on weekends addressing a current gap in services. The new service will start by operating Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8pm-2am. The vehicle will make stops at various locations in downtown Whitehorse as identified on a route map. 

The service will also have a designated cellphone number and will provide supports such as, clothing essentials, harm reduction supplies, snacks, hot drinks and emotional and cultural connection. Outreach staff will have training in first aid, naloxone, and mental health first aid and will provide those they serve with referrals to a range of other support services, including shelter services, meal services, RCMP and/or emergency medical services.

In addition to the downtown mobile outreach service, this week CYFN has begun providing hot meals to Yukon First Nations and Indigenous families to assist in decentralizing food services from 405 Alexander. This program is available, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the CYFN Family Preservation Programming building, located at Suite 130, 205 Black Street. 50 hot meals will be offered on a first come, first served basis. This program is in partnership with Connective.

Both initiatives are funded by Yukon government Health and Social Services as part of the Downtown Safety Action Plan.

These initiatives affirm our commitment to enhancing the safety and well-being of vulnerable individuals in downtown Whitehorse and underscores our dedication to removing barriers and meeting individuals where and when they need support. These initiatives signify a holistic approach to community wellness, and we emphasize our dedication to creating a safer, more inclusive downtown for all.

– CYFN Grand Chief Peter Johnston
Council of Yukon First Nations, Moccasin Mobile Outreach Van
Photo by Alistair Maitland Photography
Council of Yukon First Nations, Moccasin Mobile Outreach Van Route