WINNIPEG SUPPORTIVE HOUSING INC.
Winnipeg Supportive Housing Inc.(WSHI) is a non-profit organization responsible for initiating and developing this supportive housing project. It has entered into a formal partnership with Riverwood Church Community (RCCI) to be the owner and operator of Riverwood House. WSHI has added two senior representative of RCCI onto its board so as to better accomplish these roles. WSHI is serving as developer and fundraiser, and has played a significant contributing role in developing the model and approach to the operations. WSHI is overseeing the property development, the design, the capital funding and a sustainable operating budget. It supports the applicant, RCCI. Board members of Winnipeg Supportive Housing Inc., which is leading the development of the project for RCCI, have directly committed to donate $650,000 to the capital budget and $15,000 per year for five years to the operating budget. They have already worked thousands of volunteer hours in research, designing the project and seeking funding.
Sputnik Architecture Inc, led by Peter Hargraves, has provided complete site development, architecture and interior design services for Riverwood House. Over its 10-year history, the Sputnik team has developed extensive expertise on projects similar to Riverwood House, including multi-unit residential housing projects, medical, educational, and food service facilities, and multi-functional public-use spaces. With architects, interior designers, and urban designers on the team, Sputnik’s diverse blend of design professionals bring together a holistic and collaborative approach to design that thrives on the cross pollination of perspectives. Social context and community wellbeing are central to the team’s design values, and ensure that effective, efficient, and thoughtful design solutions are applied to all commissions, regardless of scale. Sputnik is proficient in all stages of project development, from initial programming and planning, through design, production of construction documents, and full construction management to ensure compliance with the project’s design intensions.
Westland Construction Ltd was selected as the contractor for Riverwood House after submitting a successful proposal for the project. General Manager Peter Grose and the team at Westland Construction have extensive experience in multi-family, multi-level, wood frame and steel frame buildings, and have completed several recent projects which are very similar in construction timeline, construction cost, and building design to the new Riverwood House project. For example, Village Junction Condominium, a 36 unit four story structure, and the Mayfair Condominiums, a 48 unit four story structure, both in Osborne Village, are very similar in construction and constraints to those of Riverwood House, and both developments required detailed scheduling and management to accommodate construction within an existing mature neighborhood. Westland also has many decades of experience with facilities that provide a wide range of health and support services, and understand many of the nuances required in the construction of similar types of facilities.
Since moving to the neighbourhood in 1999, Riverwood has worked strategically to understand and respond to the core needs in the surrounding area. They have grown to offer a wide variety of programs responding to food insecurity and poverty. Riverwood engages in a high level of collaboration with neighbourhood agencies and organizations and has strong partnerships throughout the Elmwood community.
Riverwood Church Community has a strong and active presence in the community of Elmwood, re-purposing buildings that include the Firehall, The Factory, The Warehouse and The Garage, each providing specific services, and all within three blocks of each other. Riverwood operates multiple weekend services with weekly attendance averaging close to 1500. Riverwood also has a high level of engagement in supportive programming to the local neighbourhood with more than 30,000 engagements annually serving the vulnerable population within the community.
These factors made a partnership between Riverwood and WSHI a natural fit. Riverwood is driven by more than a desire to simply carry a postal code in a community, but to have a tangible impact in resourcing and supporting the most vulnerable within it. WSHI needed an ally that would provide programming and operational support to a new housing project that fills an important gap in the supportive housing market.
Finding Freedom is a recovery program that operates on the understanding that drug/alcohol addiction and other harmful habits are serious problems, but they are, more accurately, symptoms of even deeper problems (complex trauma). Through both weekly support groups and a 3-phase immersive treatment program (RE:ACT), Finding Freedom seeks to address the root issues of complex trauma as the key to overcoming addiction and to experience long-term recovery. Finding Freedom will be a critical asset to the success of Riverwood House and we will utilize the expertise, experience, and supports of this program to become an ongoing resource for its participants.
The vision of Prairie Crocus is to create sustainable funding for programs supporting recovery from addictions through the operations of a thrift store. Presently it’s committed to funding two organizations working in recovery support, Finding Freedom and Riverwood House. Prairie Crocus is a thrift shop that has been operating for 6 years. In the past year it has successfully relocated to 919 McLeod Ave and continues to grow in its donation base, customer base, and volunteer capacity. It is a non-profit that operates with a streamlined and simple organizational structure, managed by a board, operated with a lean staff overhead, and driven by volunteers.