Photograph of Cyprian


“Having no other reasonable housing options, I slept on a bunk bed in the hallway of an old mobile home for a year.”

Getting the paperwork in order to immigrate to Yukon from Poland was straightforward enough. But for Cyprian, the real struggle was in finding safe, affordable housing once he arrived.

Being paired up with a business who sponsored his immigration paperwork, Cyprian’s minimum wage job did not cover the cost of normal living.

“Working on the minimum wage for a few years while you’re paperwork is being processed is hard.. you cannot afford really appropriate housing.”

He was left with few options, and put into precarious situations in order to find a place to stay.

For a while he rented a room from a retired pimp in an old, dilapidated house in Porter Creek. He only lasted two weeks,leaving after an incident with the police.

“They had these parties in the evenings and I went out of this house to have a cigarette and I saw loads of squad cars pulling in front of a gate … I think three or four RCMP’s with the lights on.”

Being one of the first people they saw, Cyprian was told to keep his hands behind his head and lie down on the ground while a shotgun was pointed at him.

After that, both camping outside in Sept/Oct, and finally his bunkbed in a hallway both seemed like better options.

He’s since gotten his Citizenship and is finding new passions and places to explore in the Yukon and neighbouring Territories. In 2023 he bought a Yurt, where he lives with his dog Roxy. He currently works at the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition.

Portrait by GBP Creative