Popular homeless resource guide in danger of being discontinued, says Winnipeg Outreach Network

Popular homeless resource guide in danger of being discontinued, says Winnipeg Outreach Network

A small, water-resistant and foldable brochure filled with resources for Winnipeg’s homeless population is proving so popular, it’s in danger of going out of print.

The Winnipeg Outreach Network — a network of organizations that works to provide support services — says 5,000 of the brochures, called The Winnipeg Street Guide, were printed in March of this year, and they are already down to about 750 copies.

“We need at least $3,000 every few months to keep the printing going,” said Melissa Stone, outreach worker for the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, a resource centre in Winnipeg’s North End, at an official launch for the guide on Tuesday.

The Winnipeg Street Guide, printed by the Winnipeg Outreach Network. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

The guide contains information on things like where to get a free shower or laundry facilities, help finding a home, where to get inexpensive healthy food and much more, said Roxie Vincent, 23, who was at Tuesday’s official launch for the guide.

Vincent spent about six weeks on the streets as a young adult and said having something like the resource guide would have been a tremendous help to her.

“Having this tool when I was homeless would have helped me immensely in understanding where I could have went, where I could have gone somewhere to be safe,” she said.

“I grew up really well and in a great family, but there was lots of isolation, where I wasn’t able [to have] social growth in my life,” said Vincent.

Roxie Vincent holds a copy of the Resource Guide. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

Due to that lack of community, finding resources to help her get back on her feet was difficult, she said.

“I literally had no idea what I was going to do or where I was going to go. I was so concerned of, like, ‘Am I going to sleep under a bridge again tonight? Will I have somewhere warm to be?'”

She was fortunate in that her support worker helped her connect with Resource Assistance for Youth to find shelter and health care, but said if she’d had the brochure, she may have found help faster. 

“It’s going to help lots of children, lots of youth, lots of adults,” she said.

The brochures are being distributed by workers handing them out, and many have been distributed to schools, victim services and other agencies that have requested them, said Stone. 

“We’re out, and need more money for printing.”

Published at Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:44:35 -0400