The Spirit of Winnipeg Awards Gala is one of our business community’s most highly anticipated events — and it’s all about honouring local organizations making a difference in our city.
Ahead of the 10th Annual Spirit of Winnipeg Awards on March 6, we’re giving you a closer look at how finalists in each category are impacting our city. This week, we’re looking at one of our Non-Profit and Social Enterprise finalists, West Central Women’s Resource Centre.
WCWRC offers assistance with housing, income, employment, training, childminding, settlement, basic needs and many other supports to women and families in our community. They exist to empower women to help themselves, their families and their community to safer, healthier lifestyles. Their shared vision is for a healthy, sustainable, equitable, just and peaceful community where women’s knowledge and experience is valued and respected. WCWRC is working towards a world where women have hope and strength while living out equal social, economic and political rights. The centre is run by women, for women and has always been guided by the women living in Winnipeg’s inner-city.
Who does WCWRC help?
We support low-income, marginalized women and families primarily in Winnipeg’s inner-city. Over half of the women we support are Indigenous and around 20% are newcomers.
What does WCWRC credit their success to?
Honouring women’s knowledge is the cornerstone of our work. We recognize that women carry with them strength and resiliency that is often unrecognized and undervalued.
What does community mean to WCWRC?
Community is at the heart of everything. It is the foundation and purpose of everything we do. With a strong community, anything is possible.
How does WCWRC change lives?
By building the hope and strength of the women in our community, the impact ripples out to families, neighbourhoods and the city. Here are some examples of the impacts we have:
- Jolene, an Indigenous woman who was homeless for more than 15 years, first came to WCWRC because she heard there was free shampoo. She discovered a warm, welcoming space and was connected to good housing and a job. She is now the Community Connector and Indigenous Programs Coordinator at WCWRC.
- Laetitia, a refugee from Congo, found the courage to leave her house without fear for the first time since coming to Winnipeg in 2016. She is now bold, and has passed that along to her two daughters.
- Helena came to us for a hot bowl of soup every week, and found her community here. She is now in our drum group and works in the kitchen where she makes soup for others.
What’s next for WCWRC?
Growth. We are outgrowing our centre on Ellice Avenue and the demand for our services is increasing rapidly. This year, we will have 26,000 visits, which is a 19% increase over last year and we expect this trend to continue in years to come. We hope to be able to offer expanded services that meet the needs of the community in a bigger space soon!