The Government of Yukon is committed to ending and preventing homelessness, tackling the Substance Use Health Emergency, promoting reconciliation and health equity, and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all Yukoners.
As part of this work, the Yukon government released independent reports from House of Wolf & Associates and Vink Consulting on safety and wellness issues connected to 405 Alexander Street and the surrounding neighbourhood.
From January 2019 to September 2022, the Government of Yukon operated 405 Alexander Street in Whitehorse. In October 2022, Connective partnered with the Council of Yukon First Nations to take over operations.
A Path Forward, by House of Wolf & Associates, assessed the safety and perspectives of community wellness. Vink Consulting’s report, The Whitehorse Emergency Shelter Evaluation, assessed the extent to which 405 Alexander Street met the needs of the community, measured the outcomes it generated, and evaluated its cost-effectiveness.
Overall, the reports offer recommendations on how to improve 405 Alexander’s safety and effectiveness, and how to enhance support for street-involved Yukoners and people experiencing homelessness.
Key findings include recommendations to improve outcomes and value for guests, such as trauma-informed services and cultural safety, and to increase investment in supportive housing. The Whitehorse Emergency Shelter Evaluation report found that 405 Alexander is effectively reaching those in need and providing benefits that outweigh its costs for shelter guests, Housing First residents, and the government.
The Government of Yukon recognizes that responding effectively to both reports requires a collaborative effort that will involve Connective, the non-profit that now operates 405 Alexander, as well as the Council of Yukon First Nations and other community partners.
Our government is committed to working with partners to improve support for people experiencing homelessness and street-involved Yukoners. The insights gathered from the House of Wolf & Associates and Vink Consulting reports are critical in helping us improve services and chart a course forward together to enhance the health and wellbeing of those who use and work at 405 Alexander Street, as well as the surrounding community. I look forward to continuing our work with Connective, the Council of Yukon First Nations and community partners to build from this progress.
– Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee
CYFN is pleased to see the release of these reports that acknowledge the history and complexity of the issues at the shelter. We are committed to continuing to provide cultural programming and advocacy for the benefit of the population that utilize shelter services. We look forward to continued collaboration with our partners Connective, Yukon government, and the broader community to improve outcomes for shelter users.
– Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston
Throughout Connective’s transition of operations at 405 Alexander, we’ve made it a priority to honour the work that came before us, while also listening and learning from the community in and around the building to ensure the best possible impacts on local health and wellbeing. These reports, and the valuable insights contained within, provide yet another opportunity to do just that. We are eager to learn from their findings, and perspectives surrounding community safety, as we work with our staff and partners to inform future operational plans at 405 Alexander.
–Chief Executive Officer at Connective Mark Miller
- The engagement process that helped inform the reports took place between April and September 2022, which was when the Yukon government operated 405 Alexander.
- Connective, a social services non-profit in British Columbia and the Yukon, was contracted by the Yukon government to assume responsibility for managing the operations of 405 Alexander starting in October 2022.
- Since then, Connective has delivered programming, support and health services collaboratively with the Department of Health and Social Services, the Council of Yukon First Nations and other community partners.
- The House of Wolf & Associates report, A Path Forward, assessed the lived experience of safety and perspective on community wellness through engagementwith shelter clients, staff, key partners, local businesses and residents.
- The Vink Consulting report, Whitehorse Emergency Shelter Evaluation, assessed operations at 405 Alexander through engagement with shelter guests, staff and stakeholders.
- The Vink Consulting report, Whitehorse Emergency Shelter Evaluation
- The House of Wolf & Associates report, A Path Forward
Communications, Health and Social Services