Winnipeg Outreach Network launches new guide for street-involved youth and adults

Winnipeg, MB (April 17, 2018)… The Winnipeg Outreach Network (WON), made up of 18 service providers and support agencies, is launching a new and much-needed resource for street-involved youth and adults entitled The Winnipeg Street Guide.

Winnipeg Outreach Network logo

The Winnipeg Street Guide is an essential and cost-effective project that will contribute to the resolution of multiple and complex issues that street-entrenched children, youth, and adults face in our community,” said Melissa Stone, co-chair of WON. “A single guide made by and for street-involved peoples is needed in our city to promote effective service delivery, respond to immediate needs and provide a pathway from the streets.”

The Winnipeg Street Guide, which was developed with input from youth that the guide is meant to support, is being distributed through WON services providers and support agencies. It includes a map of WON member agencies and contact information. It is a one-stop information resource for providers, street-involved people, and those who need to access the resources. Many of those who need to access the guide experience numerous barriers including irregular access to computers and/or phones. The 18 WON service providers will distribute copies of the guide and make it available online.

"We would like to congratulate the Winnipeg Outreach Network (WON) for taking the initiative to develop this excellent resource,” stated Kerri Irvin-Ross, CEO of Macdonald Youth Services and member agency of WON. “With the direct involvement of youth who access the resources and the agencies whose goal is to support them, this will be an invaluable tool.”

"The Winnipeg Police Service is committed to a goal of less crime and victimization to the most vulnerable as well as engaged communities,” said Chief Danny Smyth of the Winnipeg Police Service. “By partnering with the Winnipeg Outreach Network and assisting with the resource guide we are all strengthening our efforts to the benefit of our entire city."

“It’s important for us to be a part of the Winnipeg Outreach Network and projects like the Winnipeg resource guide,” stated Jessica Huzyk, program manager for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. “Although we are a national organization, we value the connection with our own community and support grassroots initiatives like the Winnipeg Outreach Network. When we work together, we are better equipped to help vulnerable populations and keep our children and youth safe.”

"The Winnipeg Outreach Network that the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre is a part of is a grassroots front line network of outreach workers who combined their knowledge, experience and passion to help the most vulnerable on Winnipeg streets by creating a life-saving resource guide,” stated Diane Redsky, executive director of the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre. “We are extremely proud of this community-based initiative to help make our streets safer."

“As the designated intake agency for Child and Family Services in the Winnipeg region ANCR seeks to promote and support the safety and well-being of children and families by providing culturally appropriate, strength based child and family intake services. ANCR recognizes how essential community partnerships are to meeting the complex needs of street involved youth.” Child and Family All Nations Coordinated Response Network (ANCR) executive director Sandie Stoker said, “This very concrete and practical tool represents the commitment of all of us to connect youth to the resources that they tell us that need. No one of us makes these changes alone. We need to work together to ensure that street-involved youth face opportunities rather than barriers.”

“I’m very proud of RaY’s outreach team and WON,” said Kelly Holmes, executive director of Resource Assistance for Youth, Inc. (RaY). “Street outreach is an important and necessary component in the community and tools like the street guide are essential to the well-being and safety of people on the street. Community collaboration is critical to combatting homelessness and all the dangers associated with street life. Congratulations to all involved.”

WON would like to acknowledge the youth of RaY, Ndinawe, and West End 24/7 for their valuable input into the guide and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg for confirming resource information. WON also acknowledges it’s funders, The Winnipeg Foundation and Manitoba Advocate for Children & Youth, as well as member organizations for their leadership in developing the Winnipeg Street Guide: ANCR; Booth Centre; Canadian Centre for Child Protection; Daniel McIntyre/St. Matthews Community Alliance; End Homelessness Winnipeg; Gang Action Interagency Network; Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre; Macdonald Youth Services; Ndinawe; North End Women’s Centre; Counter Exploitation Unit and Missing Persons Unit at the Winnipeg Police Service; RaY; Salvation Army; Sage House; Social Planning Council of Winnipeg; Spence Neighbourhood Association; VOICES; Winnipeg Regional Health Authority; and West End 24/7.

About Winnipeg Outreach Network (WON):
The Winnipeg Outreach Network is comprised of local, provincial, and national organizations that have a connection to and provide support to children, youth, adults, and families. Our members also provide services to vulnerable populations, exploited persons, and at-risk/marginalized populations. Our grassroots collaborative has lived experience. The network was initially established in 2006.