In winter 2020/21, WCWRC partnered with Spence Neighbourhood Association (SNA) to open a low-barrier, daytime Warming Centre to serve the homeless and food-insecure members of our West End Community.
Community members had access to Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre on Langside to safely warm up and sit down for 30 minutes to enjoy a hot meal and coffee. Staff from both organizations worked hard at creating lasting relationships during a difficult pandemic winter. They maintained COVID-19 protocols and supported participants with hygiene supplies and winter gear. Thank you to everyone who donated!
Over the last two months of the project, we partnered with Nine Circles to pilot their Meeting the Moment project at the Warming Centre. Their staff joined us weekly to provide Indigenous cultural supports, the services of a Nurse Practitioner and Social Worker, Naloxone kits and harm reduction supplies, and referrals to health care partners. Participants were excited to connect regularly with Nine Circles’ staff.
The success of the Warming Centre lies in the solid and long-lasting relationship that WCWRC and SNA have nurtured through the years and the mutually beneficial collaboration with Nine Circles. Our creative problem-solving skills are what make our agencies so resourceful and sustainable. We look forward to continuing working together to serve our community.
Community Agencies Working Together
Early in the pandemic, 1JustCity approached us, as they had received a donation to purchase meals from local restaurants to provide to community agencies – many more meals than they could manage with their three locations.
As a result, they partnered with several other organizations and us working on food security and have been providing hot meals for our community members for over a year. Without them, stretching our food budgets would have been so much more difficult. We are incredibly grateful for their generosity!
You can learn more about how non-profit agencies in Winnipeg – including WCWRC – worked together to support the community during the pandemic by watching “Holding Winnipeg Together during COVID-19” on YouTube. The video by Hañwakañ Blaikie Whitecloud, demonstrates that with grassroots collaboration and system changes, a better world is possible now and beyond COVID-19.
Housing & Hotels
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the connection between housing and public health, along with the urgency of ensuring everyone has access to a place to isolate and protect themselves and their community from the virus.
With the generous support of the federal government and our partnerships with a downtown hotel, we safely sheltered women and supported them to find permanent housing solutions.
In 2020/21, we received funding from the Government of Canada to support unsheltered women or women at risk of experiencing homelessness to access temporary hotel stays. We continue to work with a downtown hotel committed to helping people get through this difficult time.
With grassroots collaboration and system changes, a better world is possible now and beyond COVID-19.
With the stability of a roof over their heads, we were able to support women, many of whom are escaping violence, to get connected to an income source and permanent housing. Through these partnerships, we were able to help 68 women into a safe hotel stay when they needed it, and 37 of them transitioned into permanent housing.