Our organization has been approved to receive $4 million in funding from various partners to purchase and revitalize 126/140 Alfred Avenue. Our intention is to renovate this derelict building into housing for up to 24 Indigenous youth in and from CFS care. The total cost of the purchase and renovation is expected to be $5 million, not accounting for initial set up costs or resources for youth moving in.
The upper three levels will be affordable housing, while the lower level will offer in-house support to tenants and supports for community-based youth. These supports will include:
- Employment programming
- Life skills development
- Basic needs resources (i.e., showers for homeless youth and laundry for youth living in the community)
- Cultural programming, and more.
We are grateful for the support we have received thus far, but we are calling on our community, our partners, and our supporters to help us ensure we provide the best possible resource for our youth.
Funds will help us address the damage caused by the 2016 fire (which you can read about here: Apartment building on Alfred Avenue catches fire | CTV News), renovations to convert the lower level to programming and supports, and furnishings or programming resources for youth.
About Shawenim Abinoojii Inc.
Shawenim Abinoojii Inc (SAI) is a third-party resource providing services to Southeast Child and Family Services and the Southeast First Nation Communities. Our organization mandate is to provide holistic care for the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of children, youth, adults, families, and communities in need by creating and/or providing culturally relevant experiences, education and training, and support and placement services for the purpose of promoting and supporting self- sufficiency and wellness.
Here is why this resource is so important.
Of the 11,000 children in care in Manitoba approximately 90% of them are Indigenous (Barrera, 2017; OCA, 2016). The overall approach to child welfare has been identified as a continuation of colonization, with youth in care facing cultural disconnection, precarious living situations and an array of social risks (Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, 2014; TRC, 2015; Turk, 2009; Blackstock et al., 2006). Indigenous youth from care often live with less income, have lower educational attainment, experience exploitation, develop a lack of trust and a sense of disconnection, and cope using unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substances (Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, 2014; Turk, 2009). Further, Indigenous youth from care are increasingly being identified as being at risk of or experiencing homelessness (OCA, 2012; Turk, 2009; WPG Street Census, 2018).
In Manitoba Housing’s What We Heard report the need for affordable housing, particularly for vulnerable populations was emphasized; youth aging out of care were identified several times throughout this report. The Manitoba Housing & Renewal Corporation Three-Year Action Plan (March 2020) identifies that youth led households and Indigenous persons living off reserve are among those with the highest level of housing need. This is supported by the Manitoba Poverty Reduction Strategy, which identified that 23.2% of Indigenous persons living off-reserve and 35.9% of youth-led households are low-income. The What We Heard report emphasized the need for affordable housing, particularly for vulnerable populations. Youth aging out of care were identified several times throughout this report.
Here is how you can support us on this Journey
There are many ways you can help support our project.
- Financial Donations
Cheques can be made out to Shawenim Abinoojii Inc*, memo 126 Alfred Avenue, and mailed or dropped off at:
1386 Main Street, WPG MB, R2W 3V1
*Please note that Shawenim Abinoojii Inc is an incorporated non-profit organization. We do not have charitable status and therefore cannot issue tax receipts.*
- Donations of items or services.
Youth exiting care benefit from a variety of supports including help setting up their first apartment. When the building opens, we will be accepting donations of gently used, clean, and bed bug free household furniture and items to help our youth with their initial apartment set up. Monetary donations are also welcome.
If you are interested in donating household items or have ideas of other ways you want to support our project, contact Brandy at