This is a joint news release between the Government of Yukon and Connective.
The Government of Yukon has approved funding for a new community housing program that will provide 24/7 supervised housing and programming services for up to eight justice-involved women. This essential service is the first of its kind in the North. The Government of Yukon will partner with Connective Support Society (Connective), formerly known as the John Howard Society, in the delivery of this programming to ensure the successful transition for women in the justice system back into the community.
Connective will operate and administer the program in partnership with the Council of Yukon First Nations and will begin recruiting and training staff to welcome its first program participants. The facility is located in the former Takhini Haven building and will be independently operated on the Whitehorse Correctional Centre property.
Connective has been successfully operating the Supervised Housing and Reintegration Support Program (SHARP), a similar supervised housing and programming service for justice-involved men in the Yukon, for almost three years. This new program will provide access to safe housing and support for justice-involved women who are on bail, conditional sentences, mandatory supervision and temporary absences. Program participants will also have voluntary access to culturally-appropriate programs and services to assist in addressing the underlying factors that brought them in contact with the justice system. Providing supervised housing and programs to support their transition back into the community will reduce the likelihood of reinvolvement with the criminal justice system.
This supervised community housing program provides a gender-responsive solution to ensuring essential housing support and services for justice-involved women. The safe and effective transition back into our communities after time in the justice system is vital for overall personal and community wellbeing. Our government is proud to be partnering with Connective on delivering this important and one-of-a-kind service in the North that puts people first. It is also part of the Government of Yukon’s broader commitment to supporting gender equity and ending violence.
Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee
When we first opened SHARP in early 2020, we did so based on our expansive 90-year history and experience with person-centred service delivery across BC. In sharing this announcement today, we build on two+ years in the community, four additional programs, over 100 Yukon-based staff, and our strong partnership with CYFN. We are humbled and grateful for this opportunity to expand our services in the territory, to continue serving Yukoners facing barriers, and to give women on conditional release the opportunity to return home.
Connective Chief Executive Officer Mark Miller
CYFN works to improve outcomes for Yukon First Nations by supporting cultural safety through the provision of cultural supports for Yukon First Nations. CYFN is pleased to expand our partnership with Connective to provide cultural supports for the women’s program at Takhini Haven.
Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston
- The facility will provide better access to safe housing and support for women on bail or who are in the process of reintegrating into their communities.
- The program participants will not require high security custodial care but will benefit from some level of supervision to facilitate their rehabilitation and reintegration back into the community.
- Connective also operates the Supervised Housing and Reintegration Support Program in Whitehorse that supports justice-involved men.