West End 24 Hour Safe Space (WE24) staff

Spence Neighbourhood Association

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The Spence Neighbourhood Association works with the people of Spence to revitalize and renew their community in the areas of Holistic Housing, Community Connecting, Community Economic Development, Environment and Open Spaces, and Youth & Families. The purpose of the Spence Neighbourhood Association is to activate and engage the people of Spence in building and rebuilding their neighbourhood in the primary areas of: holistic housing, community connecting, community economic development, environment & open spaces, and youth & families. 

SNA’s West End 24 Hour Safe Space for Youth (also known as WE24) operates out of 430 Langside Street (in Winnipeg, MB) and provides an overnight space for youth ages 13-26 to rest, relax, access food, resources, and basic needs, in a supportive, kind, and warm environment.

The West End 24 Hour Safe Space has been a dream of the residents of the West End for many years. We have been so thrilled over the last two years, to watch this project go from a grassroots dream to a plan, to a project with funding behind it, to an open and operational service, to a family of youth, volunteers and staff that work to keep the most marginalized among us safe and connected to positive role models and resources.

Winnipeg’s West End, a low-income neighbourhood with higher crime rates and more active streets than most, had no 24-hour safe space for youth until the summer of 2016.

Unfortunately, in our neighbourhood, and in many others, youth are not experiencing the safety and care that most of us had while growing up. In other neighbourhoods, such as the North End, there have been successful creations of 24-hour safe spaces, through Rossbrook House and Ndinawe, to counter this unfortunate reality. We wanted to follow their examples and provide a space where youth feel safe and respected and the staff is well-trained and caring people.

We believe that it is our responsibility to keep each other safe and provide positive opportunities to the youth of our community.

For this reason, West End 24-hour Safe Space was born. When youth are in crisis and exploited, and home is no longer a refuge, they can’t wait until morning to find safety.

Concerned Winnipeggers and West End community groups came together in 2014-2015 and created a plan for a safe space, informed by the youth who needed it most. With monetary support from individuals, organizations, community groups, partners, and funders, we were able to open our doors in 2016.