Written by; Joy Smithers / TCCN Staff Writer
Added on: Tue Nov 17 2009
A new $1.5 million children's receiving home is being built in Whitehorse to replace the existing structure, which had to be shut down by the Yukon government last year due to mould and safety problems. The home provided short-term residence for children in need, ages 10 to 18.
The new building will have eight bedrooms and will house up to six teen boys plus staff. Construction began in September, and the structure has been framed in. A sod turning ceremony was held last Tuesday by federal and territorial government officials.
According to the Yukon Health and Social Services Minister Glenn Hart, "This building will provide residence for boys only, as girls will continue to stay in a different building." The previous facility held both boys and girls, but the Yukon Health and Social Services Ministry said that it was more prudent to house boys and girls separately.
The project is a joint endeavour by the Yukon and federal governments and will cost approximately $1.5 million. The home is meant to be a temporary shelter for children in need. They can stay there for up to three months. Some children at the old facility stayed for up to a year, but the government is working to prevent that situation from developing.
Another concern with the old facility was security. The RCMP were called more than 40 times during the first half of 2007. The new home will have more security features built in. There will be cameras in the backyard and at larger entrances according to Health Department Manager of Children Assessment and Treatment Nancy Duesener, who said, "Before we had children in dorms and that kind of thing, now we have them each with their own individual bedroom."
Duesener plans to invite neighbors to an open house before the new home opens in the fall of 2010.
Copyright: 2009 TCCN.ca