Many women who seek help at WCWRC live in poverty. They may be escaping abusive relationships or looking for a safe place to live. Some are refugees who need help settling themselves and their children into their new lives in Winnipeg. Others want help getting a job. Many count on the WCWRC just to have their basic needs met.
The new Transitional Housing Project and Drop-In Expansion initiative will launch a new era of providing responsive, holistic community supports that change women’s lives.
HELPING WOMEN LEAVE VIOLENT SITUATIONS PERMANENTLY
Winnipeg has the highest rate of intimate-partner violence against women in the country
Having a safe, affordable place to go when leaving a violent situation is critical.
Right now, there isn’t anywhere in Winnipeg offering the security of longer-term housing with comprehensive, built-in supports.
Together, we can change that with the WCWRC Transitional Housing Project.
Funding from Canada’s Rapid Housing Initiative allowed WCWRC to buy a three-storey apartment building at 590 Victor Street that will be converted to 16 affordable units for women and their children leaving violent situations.
It takes women an average of seven attempts to leave a violent situation. What if we could make it one?
Here, women and families can have safe, supportive and culturally appropriate housing where they can live for up to two years (more, if needed), giving them time to stabilize and get a permanent place to live. Importantly, women will be living with others who understand and value them, rebuilding a sense of belonging and community.
Families will have wrap-around supports onsite, including education, life skills and employment programming, along with housing assistance and gender-based violence recovery support. There will also be community spaces and a secure play area.
Being just one block from the WCWRC’s 640 Ellice Ave location, residents will also have easy access to basic needs, one-on-one supports and a neighbourhood gathering place. And, they will be able to access these supports even after transitioning out of the apartments, giving them the greatest chance of lasting independence.
WCWRC is partnering with emergency shelters and other community agencies to triage the needs of women and their families, to ensure they have all the help and resources they need.
EXPANDING DROP-IN SERVICES AND RESOURCES
Moving some programs from WCWRC’s Ellice Ave facility to the Transitional Housing Project provides the opportunity to double the size of the Ellice drop-in centre and to realign the space to better meet community needs.
Women count on the drop-in to provide a comfortable, welcoming, barrier-free safe space where they can get food and hygiene products and connect to important resources.
Here, they develop supportive relationships with peers and staff who can help them work through crises with parenting, housing, domestic violence and poverty. They also have dignified access to showers, washrooms and laundry facilities.
In the year pre-covid, 26,366 people visited WCWRC and the drop-in provided 17,680 meals & snacks
This need for ‘basics’ is growing. Before COVID, more than 100 women a day were using the space and it was often full. As we begin to welcome women back, the need is even greater than before.
The Ellice Ave Expansion and Renewal will ensure more women can access help. It will also bring the building up to code, making it more efficient and sustainable long term.
INVESTING IN WOMEN TO MAKE OUR COMMUNITY STRONGER FOR ALL
These two projects are a $9.8-million initiative.
The cost of purchasing and renovating the Victor St. apartment building for the Transitional Housing Project is $7.8 million, and the Ellice Ave Expansion and Renewal is a $2-million project.
The CMHC is providing $4.3 million of this.
We look to the community to invest a total of $5.5 million in creating spaces where women and their families can heal, be safe, find hope and succeed.
WITH YOUR HELP, WOMEN’S LIVES WILL BE TRANSFORMED.
WITH YOUR HELP,
WE WILL ALL LIVE IN A STRONGER, HEALTHIER NEIGHBOURHOOD.