After 3 break-ins in 1 week, North End social enterprise cleaning up, trying to cover $10K in costs
North End Women's Centre's Up Shoppe, which provides jobs, affordable items, broken into twice on 1 night
A Winnipeg business that focuses on providing affordable goods and jobs for local women is picking up the pieces after it was broken into three times in the space of just one week.
The Up Shoppe, a thrift store on Selkirk Avenue run by the North End Women's Centre, which offers training and other programs for women, was broken into twice in a single night on Nov. 29.
Then, the store was broken into yet again this past Thursday.
The break-ins have left staff shaken, while the centre is figuring out how to get back on its feet, said Cynthia Drebot, the executive director of the North End Women's Centre.
"When anything gets broken into, you feel like your space has been kind of violated in some sort of way," she said.
Before this, the store hadn't had a break-in in 12 years, she said.
About $500 worth of merchandise was taken from the store.
But the real cost is paying to fix the damage, which includes the insurance deductible and the costs associated with boarding up the shop's windows.
In all, Drebot says the break-ins will cost the centre roughly $10,000, and she doesn't know how it will cover that cost.
"When you need to bring a company in to board up your your window in the middle of the night, you're paying a premium cost. Well, we had three separate times that that had to be done," she said.
The Up Shoppe is run by the centre as a social enterprise, where women can gain work experience and people in the community can buy clothing and other items at an affordable price.
It's bringing up what an amazing store it is and how much the store is loved, and how many people know it and support it and are behind it.- Cynthia Drebot , North End Women's Centre
The centre also runs an emergency wages program, where it will pay for someone's damage deposit or make other payments they can't afford in exchange for working in the shop.
After the break-ins, the centre is trying to make sure its staff members feel safe, since there is some fear the store could be broken into yet again, Drebot said.
But she says she's encouraged by the outpouring of support the North End Women's Centre has received from the community. Since posting about the break-ins on Facebook, the centre has received dozens of comments from people remarking on how much they love the store and its staff, she said.
"I think that's what I would probably highlight in this situation, is that it's bringing up what an amazing store it is and how much the store is loved, and how many people know it and support it and are behind it."
A spokesman for the Winnipeg Police Service said it had received a report of a break-in at the Up Shoppe on the morning of Dec. 6.
The service's major crimes unit is now investigating.
With files from Aidan Geary