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New transitional housing facility to help Winnipeg women fleeing violence

The West Central Women's Resource Centre is pictured in a file image. Photo courtesy of The West Central Women's Resource Centre is pictured in a file image. Photo courtesy of
Winnipeg -

A new facility will help Winnipeg women and gender-diverse people and their families fleeing violence find safe and affordable housing while they plan their next steps.

West Central Women’s Resource Centre (WCWRC) has received $4.3 million in funding from the Rapid Housing Initiative through the federal government and the City of Winnipeg.

The funds will be used to buy and renovate an existing apartment building in the city’s West End. It will be converted into 16 units offering one, two and three-bedroom suites. WCWRC said rent will be geared toward income, capping at 30 per cent so all units remain affordable.

The facility will also house gender-based violence and housing support staff, offering many of the same services at WCWRC’s existing Ellice Avenue site.

“Right now, most women who come to us are lower-income, and they are requiring all kinds of supports, and it varies from meeting their basic needs to getting support with housing or getting support exiting violence, as well as getting training in employment supports,” said Lorie English, WCWRC’s executive director. “Our goal is to ensure the people who are staying with us to also have access to those same kinds of supports.”

English said the grant won’t cover the total cost of the project, so the organization is seeking additional grants and fundraising to make up the difference.

She said the project is coming at a crucial time, adding the need for gender-based violence supports spiked at the onset of the pandemic.

English said she realized early on the demand for services was going to outstrip WCWRC’s ability to help given public health restrictions, mainly with gathering sizes.

“Very quickly, it was evident to us that folks who were at that intersection between gender-based violence and housing insecurity really were underserved, and that became our real priority in this project, to provide a space that folks could come to, that was safe, that met their housing needs but also gave them the opportunity to heal from the violence that they’d experienced.” Top Stories

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