A local organization that helps victims and survivors of violent crime is getting some help themselves from the Manitoba government.
Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen and Municipal Affairs Minister Eileen Clarke announced on Thursday that the province will be providing $200,000 to assist in the renovation and expansion of Candace House.
“Our government is proud to support the work of Candace House, which provides important practical and emotional supports for families experiencing loss through violent crime while navigating the justice process on behalf of their loved ones,” said Goertzen. “We know how integral organizations like Candace House are in helping people in their healing journeys. This project will create a kitchen space and more accessible washrooms. Both are much needed and we’re proud to support this.”
“The $25-million Building Sustainable Communities fund was created to help projects and programs like Candace House grow and thrive by providing a funding source for non-profits and local governments seeking to enhance new and existing public spaces in their communities,” said Clarke.
Funds will be used to help cover the capital costs of the organization’s expansion to over 3,600 sq. ft. from 1,500 sq. ft. to fully meet the existing demand for services, enhance its current supports and develop and deliver more innovative support services to Manitoba families in need, noted Clarke.
“Since opening three-and-a-half years ago, we have recognized the incredibly positive impact that survivor-oriented, trauma-informed and culturally safe spaces make for victims and survivors of violent crime,” said Cecilly Hildebrand, executive director, Candace House. “We are excited to receive this funding from the Manitoba government through the Building Sustainable Communities program, as it will help allow Candace House to expand to ensure we are able to meet the demand for our services and provide wraparound support for families impacted by violent crime as they navigate Manitoba’s justice system.”
Candace House resulted from the vision of Wilma and Cliff Derksen, who became strong advocates for victims after losing their daughter Candace to homicide in 1984.
Established in 2018, this unique facility continues to offer a safe and comforting daytime refuge for families attending court proceedings, allowing them to take a break in a setting of privacy, warmth and love, Goertzen noted. Candace House staff and volunteers also provide court accompaniment, justice-system-related information, emotional and practical support, a meal program and partner with various organizations to increase access to holistic and culturally safe support. In its first three years, Candace House has supported the justice journeys of more than 500 family members and loved ones following the loss of 58 Manitobans due to violent crime.