Manitoba Government Provides over $1.5 Million in Annual Funding to Velma’s House
March 16, 2023
Funding will Enable Vulnerable Women to Access Supports, Meals and Services Any Time of Day or Night: Squires
The Manitoba government is providing $1.53 million in annual operating funding to Velma’s House to assist the facility in better supporting sexually exploited adult women, and survivors of gender-based violence in Manitoba, Families Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for the status of women, announced today.
“There is an increasing need for 24-7 safe spaces for vulnerable women in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba,” said Squires. “Our government is pleased to provide this annual funding to Velma’s House, so vulnerable women can access supports, meals, services and have a low-barrier place to sleep at any time of the day or night.”
Velma’s House, a project of Ka Ni Kanichihk, is one of the only 24-7 safe spaces in Manitoba that supports sexually exploited adult women. The facility has operated out of a residential building on Sherbrook Street in Winnipeg since March 2021. However, that location could only serve up to 10 people at a time and was not licensed for overnight services. In October 2022, Ka Ni Kanichihk announced that Velma’s House would move to a new Winnipeg location where it would be able to provide 24-7 services to vulnerable women.
“It’s so critical that as a society we all work together to address the barriers and inequities that exist. The folks who access Velma’s House face barriers most of us cannot imagine – in every facet of their lives. Velma’s House is the one place they can go where the doors are always open,” said Yvonne (Dodie) Jordaan, executive director, Ka Ni Kanichihk. “Velma’s House is Indigenous-led, and the programming and services were developed and continue to be guided and shaped by the community.”
Velma’s House is open to anyone aged 18 and older who identifies as female including those from the gender-diverse community. The facility is low-barrier, meaning people are treated without judgment, seen for their strengths, and are accepted as relatives. Supports and services are all grounded in culture.
Velma’s House provides access to basic needs such as meals, a safe place to rest, hygiene supplies, laundry and shower facilities. Visitors can also access services such as employment counselling, housing support, and assistance navigating the health-care system, Employment and Income Assistance and Child and Family Services.
For more information on Velma’s House, visit https://www.kanikanichihk.ca/velmas-house/.
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