$4M federal funding for Winnipeg group that helps women leave sex trade
'You need groups like this that have their roots right in the community': Public Safety Minister
The federal government is giving $4 million to a Winnipeg group that helps women get out of the sex trade.
On Wednesday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced the money from the Crime Prevention Action Fund will flow to the North End Women's Centre.
Its New Moon Medicine Rising program offers safe transitional housing and individualized programs to help women with their healing process.
Jessica Pennock credits the centre with helping her get off drugs and out of the sex trade.
"I remember feeling so empowered that they believed in me," said Pennock, who works as the program's outreach director and runs a support group.
"I don't know that I would have achieved all this without help from the North End Women's Centre," she said.
Goodale says the funding is part of the federal government's support for transitional housing.
"If you're studying the social determinants of crime, the issues and the factors and the forces that lead people into unhealthy lifestyles or put them at risk of being exploited by other people — whether that's because of drug use or addictions ... family dysfunction situations or poverty or joblessness — if you look at all those issues, they all need solutions and very often the solutions start with a safe and stable place to live," the minister said. "And that's why the housing component is so important."
The crime prevention fund will spend $35.4 million to support 59 projects this year.
"To provide that supportive transitional housing you need groups like this that have their roots right in the community —the knowledge of what is happening next door and across the street and down the back alley," Goodale said. "They've got that information, and they have the instinct and the drive to help."