Homelessness is a growing problem in Inuvik, and the North in general.
That's the word from Dr. Michael Young, an associate professor at Royal Roads University in Victoria who's been studying the issue locally. He presented his initial findings recently in Inuvik.
"Homelessness is generally regarded as a recent phenomenon in the Northwest Territories (NWT)," Young stated in his research proposal. "Since the late 1990s, emergency shelters in urbanizing Northern centres such as Yellowknife and Inuvik have reported a steady increase in use, representing a rise in absolute, or 'visible,' homelessness.
The vast majority of homeless men and women in both communities are aboriginal."
He goes on to say "the migration of rural populations to regional centres and the nexus between homelessness, addictions, and mental health problems remain poorly understood, as does the need for, and availability of, services required by these persons"
In a telephone interview March 21, Young said the need for some kind of "transitional" housing is needed as soon as possible to alleviate some of the strain. That, however, is not a long-term solution.