In December 2012, the first meeting of Winnipeg’s Community Task Force to End Homelessness was held. This Task Force was formed as a result of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council (“WPRC”) and United Way Winnipeg (“UWW”) determining that a multi-sector community task force was needed to develop a plan to end homelessness in Winnipeg.
The Task Force was comprised of multiple sectors, including the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg, an Elders Council, community organizations, and the private sector.
The Task Force developed the Action Plan, which is a bold set of ideal first steps. This Plan is being used as a framework against which to measure future progress.
The Task Force believed that a new organization with a mission to end homelessness in Winnipeg would provide an important opportunity to ensure the voices of those who are homeless remain front and center, to ensure Indigenous leaders and multi-sector partners are involved, and to ensure the design of a system to promote coordination, close gaps, and minimize overlaps. The community also believed that the Indigenous community should play a leadership role in our city because of the high numbers of Indigenous people who have been impacted by homelessness.
As a result, in May 2015, End Homelessness Winnipeg Inc. was created to carry out the following key functions:
- Convene stakeholders to create strategic plans
- Set priorities and guide implementation
- Broker stakeholder relationships and coordinate their collaborative efforts
- Monitor progress and adjust accordingly
- Build public support for ending homelessness
- Secure new funding and raise new money
- Receive, approve, and allocate funding
- Evaluate and report publicly on progress
“It is important to see peoples’ strengths; their gifts. To see people for whom they can be, not necessarily as they are today.” Elder