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October 16 2023

What’s on the Line: 18th Annual Poverty and Homelessness Action Week (PHAW)

The Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition (YAPC) is excited to launch the 18th Annual Poverty and Homelessness Action Week (PHAW) with a theme of “What’s on the Line: Actions to End Poverty and Homelessness in the Yukon”. Running the week of October 16th to 20th, this year’s focus is a call for thoughtful and coordinated action in the areas of food, income, housing and access to services.

“We want to highlight the urgency of these issues, and also the many ways that we can all work together to not only alleviate the impacts of poverty and homelessness, but actually end it here in the Yukon,” says Executive Director, Kristina Craig. “It’s time for honesty and bold action that will give people hope that change is possible, and that as a community we truly believe that every person matters.”

Many front line organizations are seeing more people who are experiencing poverty or homelessness, or the insecurity and anxiety that is brought on by increased basic costs including food, utilities, transportation and housing costs. The most recent Living Wage calculation in Whitehorse has risen to $21.04 an hour which was the direct result of rising costs of basic needs including substantial increases in the cost of shelter, food and transportation. The Living Wage will go up significantly in 2024 unless immediate action is taken to address the affordability crisis.

The Food Bank Society of the Yukon has seen, and continues to see, a rise in the number of people accessing its services from across the territory.

The most recent Point in Time count in Whitehorse revealed that more than 197 people experienced homeless over a 24-hour period in April. “I know from experience how important it is to have secure housing,” says Omi Wohlfarth Levins, member of Voices Influencing Change. “Having the right kind of housing for people continues to be urgent as more people are dying and are caught in addictions without hope.”

We have plenty of examples and research that shows our systems are failing us,” says Craig, “it’s time to dig in and this week’s events are meant to highlight how we can do that as a community.

Events during PHAW this year include opportunities for people to share what’s on the line for them, and spaces for new ideas and relationships to be built. See attached schedule for more details.

For more information, contact:

  • Kristina Craig - Executive Director
    (867) 334 9318