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Governments of Canada and Manitoba Provide $4.4 Million for Transitional Housing for Women and Children in Winnipeg

News Release – Canada and Manitoba

Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 23, 2012—The governments of Canada and Manitoba, along with the Native Women’s Transition Centre (NWTC), today celebrated the grand opening of Kihiw Iskewock (Eagle Women) Lodge, which will provide transitional housing for Aboriginal women exiting correctional facilities.

Premier Greg Selinger and Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Federal Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, acknowledged federal and provincial support for the project of more than $4.4 million.“Transitional housing is meant to provide a safe, supportive environment where residents can address the issues that lead to homelessness and begin to rebuild their support network,” said Premier Selinger. “Kihiw Iskewock will assist women in enhancing their freedom, independence and self-sufficiency. I am pleased we supported an initiative that helps women with limited income obtain safe, decent, affordable housing.”

“Our government is giving a hand-up to Canadians with housing needs and is helping to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty,” said Mrs. Glover. “By investing in the Native Women’s Transition Centre to address issues at a local level, we are increasing opportunities for women to move towards self-sufficiency and to secure long-term, stable housing.”

“Kihiw Iskewock is an innovative, first of its kind initiative in Manitoba. It provides Aboriginal women who have experienced homelessness and involvement with the justice system with
long-term, safe transitional housing and wrap-around cultural services and supports in an environment that nurtures their identity and sense of belonging, and promotes healing and community reintegration,” said Lucille Bruce, executive director of the NWTC. “This project is the result of the community and all our funding partners working together to address a huge service gap in our community.”

“With over 25 years of experience operating a transitional house and providing programs and services to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women and their children, the NWTC is pleased to open the doors of Kihiw Iskewock Lodge,” said Violet Nelson, board chair of the NWTC. “This new facility will help to empower families to lead positive lives and work together with the community for positive change.”

Kihiw Iskewock (Eagle Women) Lodge is located at 667 Ellice Avenue and includes 15 housing units. The facility features five one-bedroom units, five two-bedroom units, two three-bedroom units and three four-bedroom units. Half of the units are visitable and three are fully accessible. There is programming and office space in the lower level of the building. The NWTC owns and manages the building.

The NWTC received funding of $3.6 million under the Province of Manitoba’s HOMEWorks! Een Dah Aung Rental and Co‑operative Housing Program and $850,000 in Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding from the Government of Canada to purchase and renovate a building for transitional housing. The facility will be used by Aboriginal women at risk of homelessness, who may be reuniting with children after leaving a correctional facility. Other project funders include the Winnipeg Foundation and the City of Winnipeg.

The NWTC is also receiving HPS funding of more than $88,000 to provide services for Aboriginal women and children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This includes access to basic needs, such as clothing and household items, mentoring and support services, including counseling and referrals, as well as life skills and cultural workshops.

Funding for the NWTC’s Kihiw Iskewock (Eagle Women) Lodge project was delivered through the Winnipeg Housing and Homelessness Initiative, a partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg.

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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this release on behalf of the governments of Canada and Manitoba, and the Native Women’s Transition Centre.

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