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Whitehorse Emergency Shelter (WES)

Providing community members with temporary emergency housing and access to a range of support services in Whitehorse

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Contact the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter

Phone Number 867-455-2820

About the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter

On October 1, 2022, operation of the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter was transferred to Connective, with the support of our partners at the Council of Yukon First Nations. Located at 405 Alexander Street, the shelter provides temporary emergency housing to community members in need of a bed, hot meal, shower, laundry, or access to the range of support services offered on site or in the community. While most stays in the shelter are short term, a limited number of permanent housing units are also available on a separate floor of the site.

This transfer of operations from the Government of Yukon builds on the growing partnership with Connective and the 
Council of Yukon First Nations, who will continue to ensure that Yukoners who are experiencing homelessness are able to take shelter, receive person-centered and culturally appropriate care, and come in off the street.


For regular updates about the shelter, please subscribe to our Report to the Community, which is distributed quarterly. You can also view all editions of the report below.


If you are looking for this service in another location in BC or the Yukon, please contact us to connect with a Connective partner in your community.

Admission Criteria

Individuals over 18 years of age

How to Apply

WES is available to any adult in the community in need of temporary housing. Services are available on a walk-in basis.


What changes are happening at the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter?

Connective, in partnership with the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN), independently assumed management and operations of the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter on October 1, 2022.


Connective is responsible for property and operations management, including 24/7 on-site staff. CYFN supports in in the provision of culturally appropriate programming and Indigenous Cultural Care. Together with other community partners, Connective and CYFN deliver programming, support, and health services to residents and service users.

Why is this change happening?

The Yukon government always intended to transition their management of the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter to a non-governmental organization. They implemented an exhaustive search for non-governmental partners to manage the operations and awarded this role to Connective, effective October 1, 2022.


What experience does Connective have with operating shelters?

Connective has a long history in BC and extensive background in service provision. Partnering with CFYN in the Yukon has allowed us to enhance our learnings as a service provider in the territory and will bring our more than 90 years of experience relevant to the Shelter operations.


With our history of service delivery for people with complex needs and CYFN’s long history of working for the advancement and betterment of Yukon First Nations, we feel this partnership will deliver effective, sustainable, person-centered, and community-informed services to the community of Whitehorse. Connective currently operates more than 600 housing units in the Yukon and British Columbia.

What is an Emergency Shelter?

Emergency shelters are temporary places to stay for anyone who is experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.


A typical stay at an emergency shelter includes a bed with linens, hot meals, showers, laundry and support services. It may range from one night to longer stays depending on the needs of service users.


In addition to the shelter beds, there are also permanent housing first units at the Whitehorse Emergency shelter which provide support for some individuals on a longer term basis.

Who uses the Emergency Shelter?

People who stay at emergency shelters are diverse, with a range of needs and abilities. Some service users have experienced homelessness for a long time and others a struggling with securing stable housing. Anyone who needs housing is welcome at the shelter. The only requirement is that those accessing the shelter agree to safe and respectful behaviour, for staff and with other clients. Each service user is unique and the programs and supports are unique to each individual, but may include: cultural programming and supports, meals and food security resources, health and wellness support, and harm reduction supplies. Shelters are open to men, women and people who identify in the LGBTQ2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, two-spirited) spectrum who are aged 19 years and older.


How did this operational change affect the existing clients?

There were no changes for individuals who access the shelter. The Whitehorse Emergency Shelter continues to operate with a housing first, harm reduction, trauma-informed lens and culturally appropriate approach.


How will Connective work with the community to address existing concerns?

We want to listen and learn from the community so that we can collaboratively work together to identify and address concerns. Our staff will spend the first month working closely with residents and service users, meeting the neighbours, and listening so we can better understand current and future areas of focus. Following this, we will host a series of virtual information sessions so that we can listen and learn from the community to understand how we can work together to address key issues and concerns.

How will Connective reduce crime and vandalism in the neighbourhood?

We are committed to supporting and maintaining a safe, welcoming and inclusive community. Where there are direct issues or challenges, we will work collaboratively to ensure that issues are addressed. We will work with law enforcement and identify ways we can ensure the shelter and immediate environment are clean and welcoming.


We want to be good neighbour and we want to support our service users. As such, we want to be part of meaningful community partnerships, while also recognizing that our clients are often not the ones involved in criminal activities, including vandalism.


We all want safe neighbourhoods. If we see vandalism or witness crime in our neighbourhood, we will work with the RCMP to address these issues.

What will be different about Connective and their approach?

Our approach is low barrier, which includes a harm reduction approach. This means that we meet people where they are and help them manage risks associated with substance use. We believe by being open, non-judgmental and taking a housing-first and health approach we can best support people in reducing the barriers they experience in their day-to-day life.


Many people who access the shelter experience multiple barriers, including concurrent disorders (co-occurring mental health issues and lived experience with substance use). Concurrent disorders are a significant health issue, and result in people facing multiple challenges and barriers to accessing basic human needs, treatment, and care.


Connective’s expertise is with wrap-around, person-centered, and holistic approaches that work to address some of the behaviours that arise along with compassion and understanding for people living with these challenges.

Contact the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter

We are here to serve the community and those in need of supports. We are committed to sharing information and working together so that we can have a safe and welcoming community where everyone feels like they belong.


For information, please visit our website at or contact our staff at the shelter anytime

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