With this new housing initiative, Winnipeg Supportive Housing Inc., in partnership with Riverwood Church Community, plans to construct a 40-unit housing complex that takes aim at poverty by developing supportive and safe housing for 40 of Winnipeg’s at-risk population in the emerging neighborhood of Elmwood.
Participants will have the opportunity to experience a community environment with peer based supports while gaining access to professional services and relational supports provided by on-site staff, partnering organizations and volunteers.
Winnipeg has an estimated 1,500 people who are homeless because of mental illness, addiction, PTSD, family issues and other issues. Many seek respite in shelters, ventilation grates or cardboard shacks under a bridge. When an individual seeking support completes a recovery program, they are often placed back into high-risk situations and struggle to achieve stability in their recovery over the long-term.
Safe, supportive housing is a critical tool in overcoming these obstacles, and personal success remains elusive without safety and stability. This project aims to empower individuals to make healthy lifestyle choices, develop community, establish and realize goals, and develop their skills to become both stable and independent.
Forty self-contained studio suites of 223 to 342 square feet, with shared spaces for programming and peer-support, are designed to enable participants to establish a sense of control in areas that most people take for granted. With ample access to natural light, small kitchens in each unit, space to prepare and share meals with each other, and carefully considered privacy measures, the project seeks to allow participants to make homes for themselves within the context of a safe and supportive community.
A site has been purchased on the corner of Talbot Ave and Stadacona St. in Elmwood. Once public funding is secured, construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 and open in 2020.
Our goal is to build and operate a 40-unit supportive housing complex serving those impacted by both addictions and housing instability whose path to recovery requires a substance free environment. We seek to offer an innovate approach by building on the research and successes of other models and combining their strengths. Specifically, the project will involve:
- A program-based housing solution providing on-site support services to assist with participants’ ongoing recovery including mental health supports
- A transitional housing facility that does not restrict length of stay, understanding that each individual’s recovery journey is unique and that a self-directed path to independence will create the most success
- Fully independent units to create a housing environment that builds life-skills and avoids creating co-dependency
- A client-centred focus with each participant empowered to determine their goals and create their own plan to successful recovery (i.e. independent living, employment, maintenance of sober-living, family reunification, etc.)
- An intentional community context to which the residents can belong within a supportive social network and contribute towards each other’s recovery
- A direct partnership with RE:ACT, an outpatient treatment program offering a trauma-informed approach to recovery
- Supportive programming for improving life-skills, and employability, through volunteering and social enterprise