Yellowknife Sobering and Day Centre Evaluation and Next Steps

YELLOWKNIFE (August 29, 2019) – The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority is releasing a program evaluation of services provided at the Yellowknife Day and Sobering centre. This evaluation was completed to determine a clear path forward for improvement of this essential service.

This comprehensive evaluation will inform future improvements to the operations of the center and was used to inform the recent Request for Proposals for a proponent to operate the program. The evaluation will also be used to inform the terms of work for the operator of the facility, who will be announced when the RFP process comes to a close.

The evaluation includes both short-term and longer-term recommendations; next steps will include drafting a comprehensive response to the evaluation for consideration by the 19th Assembly of the Government of the Northwest Territories. However; some of the recommended actions in the evaluation will be implemented more immediately including:

  • Finalizing a good neighbor agreement. Comments by the neighbors on the draft agreement have been received and will be used to inform the final agreement.
  • Adding a “street-patrol” staffed by Sobering and Day centre staff to create a visible presence, help manage foot traffic in the area, and notify appropriate authorities for intervention if required.
  • Implementing additional programming, including culturally relevant activities and programs, to engage users of the services in a positive way and develop avenues for healing and wellness. This work will be undertaken in partnership with local organizations where possible. There will be a formal consultation with clients to determine the types of cultural activities that they would like to have implemented, and we will look at activities and programming being provided both on- and off-site.
  • Piloting a new initiative with the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation that offers healing camps for clients.  These camps will enhance the current programming offered at the centre, and will be facilitated by two new staff members. 
  • Looking at formalizing a peer-support role, through partnership, volunteers, and/or current staff.
  • Enhancing the involvement of elders in programming, including examining the possibility of an elder-in-residence program for the centre.
  • Creating more training opportunities for sobering centre staff to build capacity in service delivery.
  • Working towards integrating additional outreach services at the centre



“We know that the day and sobering centre is an essential service, and that providing additional supports to community members struggling with addictions, homelessess, and mental health issues is the right thing to do. Our challenge now is to continue to improve this program so we are doing this work in the best way and adding the necessary supports to help clients find wellness in a way that works for them. This evaluation will help us advance this work and improve our community.”

- Sue Cullen, Chief Executive Officer of NTHSSA

Related Documents:

Program evaluation

Media Contact

Lisa Giovanetto
Communications Officer
Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority
TEL: 867-767-9107 ext. 40153