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The News Forum – 19 Youth, 9 Staff, 2 Social Workers Evacuate Wildfires, But Leave No Vulnerable Youth Behind

Press Release

September 05, 2023

YELLOWKNIFE, Northwest Territories, Sept. 05, 2023 —  Forum Daily News spoke with Home Base Yellowknife Executive Director Tammy Roberts.

https://youtu.be/UCodcTMo8Ww

Home Base Yellowknife Ensures Safety and Support for Vulnerable Youths Amidst Wildfire Evacuation

Home Base’s staff decided to evacuate prior to the official evacuation notice, and began the journey south with 19 youth, 9 staff, 2 social workers and two dogs in 5 vehicles. After briefly seeking refuge in Fort Providence, the organization continued south to set up in Zama City, Alberta. Once in Zama City, they were joined by the organization’s executive director, 3 more dogs and a kitten.

“Home Base Yellowknife’s youth, who are approximately 96% Indigenous and over two thirds female, are at the heart of our unwavering commitment. The safety and well-being of these vulnerable youths remain our utmost priority,” stated Tammy Roberts, Executive Director of Home Base YK.

“Many of our staff have evacuated with us, leaving their own family behind while they ensure our programs are administered and the youths receive the support they need through this crisis. Without their selfless commitment to our youth, we would not be able to provide what they need in this challenging time.”

“It is often small charities that do amazing work across Canada. Home Base Yellowknife is one of those organizations. Their sacrifice and commitment to help vulnerable youth in their area is very inspiring – true heroes,” said Tore Stautland, Founder of The News Forum

Despite the disruption of the evacuation, Home Base remained committed to ensuring its vital services continued without interruption. The organization continues to provide shelter, guidance and support to homeless youth, which is increasingly important in these challenging times.

Home Base chose to settle in Zama City, Alberta, because it offers a quiet and secure environment away from larger affected areas. This decision aligns with their mission to provide a stable and nurturing environment for the youths in our care.

Home Base YK is currently seeking out an Indigenous elder in the area of High Level to perform a prayer and medicinal ceremony for the youths and staff. With the evacuation putting a strain on their regular operating budget and forecasted expenditures, the organization is looking for financial support to continue to provide the youth in their care with financial support, counselling, shelter, food, clothing, and personal hygiene products.

“We are humbled by the gracious support of Albertans who are familiar with the challenges of wildfire evacuations. Their generosity is instrumental in providing a safe haven for our youths,” said Roberts.

For those interested in supporting Home Base Yellowknife’s Emergency Relief Fund, donations can be made through their GoFundMe campaign at the following link:

GoFundMe https://www.gofundme.com/f/q6ubx-emergency-relief-funds

For media inquiries, please contact: Tammy Roberts

Executive Director Home Base Yellowknife ed@homebaseyk.com

https://youtu.be/UCodcTMo8Ww

A video accompanying this announcement is available at:

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/e56abfb5-b7c9-4be6-916e-3a45d0acd16e

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