Winnipeg library's in-house social worker offers help
The Millennium Library in downtown Winnipeg offers more than just books, movies and computers — it has a social worker on staff who can provide support to anyone who needs it.
Bruce Fiske is the social worker on staff with the Winnipeg Public Library, with his office inside the downtown branch. His clientele consists of anyone who visits the library and is in need of help.
"Sometimes I see people more than once during the week," he told CBC News on Thursday.
"People are coming to see me [and] in many cases, they're in situations where they're not stable; they're in crisis, they're in survival mode. I try and assist them."
"It's quite an immense, difficult situation when you are experienced with a whole new environment. It's quite stressful for many," Fiske said of a newcomer's experience.
While Fiske's office is downtown, he can be called out to other Winnipeg Public Library branches.
The idea of having a social worker on staff at a library has taken off in other cities, but it was introduced in Winnipeg just last year.
A big part of the job, Fiske said, is connecting people to the resources and programs they are seeking in the city.
Being in a neutral environment like a library can make it easier for people to ask for help, he added.