Featured WILLOW PLACE NEWS – October 2022

Willow Place Executive Director, Marcie Wood

Resilience is defined as the ability to withstand hardship.  It is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands. As I reflect on the past year, “resilience” is what comes to mind. Once again, Willow Place was faced with unprecedented challenges in the wake of the pandemic and the “shadow pandemic” (UN Women) that emerged.  As we continued to navigate and adapt service delivery to maintain safe 24/7 residential and outreach programming, we were also challenged with an increased demand for our services.  This demand as well as the complexities of delivering 24/7 programming resulted in further obstacles for the organization to overcome, however, these obstacles provided opportunity for the evolution of “Strength and growth that come only through continuous effort and struggle.”  This courage and resilience is what truly defines our Willow Place team. 

The impact of the pandemic was felt deeply by all, professionally and personally.  Together, we experienced restrictions related to COVID-19 while we still persevered each day to end gender-based violence (GBV).  Personal and organizational resilience is intertwined.  What we practice daily, how we feel and act allows us to be motivated by certain thoughts, strategies and relationships while limiting others.  While the pandemic has highlighted the increased need for partnership and collaborative capacity building, hiring, staff training, and service delivery that centers culturally inclusive, trauma-informed, survivor- and human-rights based perspectives, it also challenged us daily to remain committed to action based on respect, courage, honesty, wisdom, humility and truth.  To achieve balance as well as maintain growth in an environment where all of these needs intersect requires an exceptional commitment from a resilient team.  

The work we do is difficult and not one organization cannot do it alone.  The spirit of partnership and collaboration is foundational to support coordinated services.  Willow Place is grateful to be a member of a community network of corporate sponsors as well as agencies and funders who are committed to the perpetual enhancement of services available for these we serve. 

As we leave one year behind and move onto the next I would like to, once again, honour the dedication, commitment, resiliency and growth of our organization.  “The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived” (Robert Jordan, the Fires of Heaven).

Willow Place Executive Director, Marcie Wood

Another successful program wraps up
Willow Place was fortunate to receive grant funding from Canada Summer Jobs again this year, helping to fund summer day camp staffing.  This year, we were fortunate to hire two University of Manitoba social work students, Norien and Patricia.

Patricia shared the following highlights of her work experience with Willow Place:
Working closely with children, it’s inevitable that one will form bonds with them. I remember one morning just when I arrived, one of the kids ran up to me with excitement and said “Hey friend, I went to the classroom and it was locked; now that you are here can you go open it” … to me that statement was heartwarming as well as felt special. Other highlights were personal skills enhancement, knowledge acquisition and abilities realization through supporting children’s creative and recreational skills. Patience and consistency yields great results when working with children. Overall, the summer day camp was rewarding and fun!

Norien shared the following personal reflection:
“The most interesting experience I’ve had while working as a day camp worker is seeing how the unique personality of every child always shined through in a matter of a few minutes. The children have taught me how listening goes a long way when it comes to establishing respect and trust in a relationship. Patricia who taught me the importance of communicating and planning, which resulted in the creation of an environment in our day camp that was welcoming, respectful, and fun. Patricia and I hope that the short time we spent with the children at day camp will be something they can remember when they grow older. Whether it be about the friends they’ve made, the outings we went on, or any feelings they were able to express and let out due to their comfort in our room and the people that they were interacting with. I hope that every child that we have had the pleasure of working with this summer had a positive and memorable experience that they can utilize to become the most amazing versions of themselves.” Special thanks to community donors who provided passes for individual and group admissions this summer: Manitoba Children’s Museum, Goldeyes Baseball Club, Manitoba Museum, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. For the majority of our shelter participants, these donations allowed for first-time experiences – we valued and appreciated your generosity!

Summer Day Camp 2022 students, Patricia and Norien

Updated training program launch

After a two-year hiatus, Willow Place is thrilled to have volunteers on-site once again. We have maintained a waiting list of prospective volunteers during this time, and in September and November 2022 volunteer training is commencing, with those on the waiting list.

Our volunteer training program has been updated and streamlined to include virtual and in-person components. We have also expanded volunteer opportunities to include shelter support, donations support, maintenance assistance, special event volunteering, and cultural supports.  We look forward to welcoming new volunteers to a variety of roles in the weeks and months ahead. All volunteers are interviewed and must obtain criminal records back-checks with vulnerable sector search. For those accepted into our training program, Willow Place is able to provide no-cost adult and child abuse registry applications.

For more info, Willow Place Community Team (Shannon): shannonc@willowplace.ca
Phone: 204-615-0313, ext. 224 (weekdays, daytime hours)

Caring community makes a world of difference!
Each year Willow Place must fundraise to meet operational funding gaps, and to effectively respond to changing community needs.  Current priorities for Willow Place include food security funding, cultural and wellness support funding, as well as replacement funding (shelter facility supplies and furnishings). On the horizon is a capital campaign to support a new facility with expanded service and support capabilities – demand for family violence prevention services continues to grow, and the needs include transitional housing.

A growing area of support for Willow Place is third party fundraising. Throughout the pandemic, the creativity of community members and organizations was inspiring, as they hosted a wide variety of events to raise both awareness and much-needed dollars for Willow Place. Both service needs and costs continue to increase, and we are witnessing more acute needs among program participants.  As such, the support of caring community is particularly precious, and allows us to sustain valuable services for vulnerable populations.

If you are interested in hosting a fundraising event or donation drive, please reach out to us for information:

Phone: 204-615-0313, ext. 237 (weekdays, daytime hours)
Email: pamh@willowplace.ca

How YOU can help
Every connection matters
There is an added layer of comfort when a friend,  co-worker, or other supportive person recommends a service.  For Willow Place, community and agency sharing and partnership is important. Many of the populations we serve have mistrust of others due to experiences of abuse, neglect and racism.

Commonly, family violence survivors will downplay their hardships and the abuse.  Like the tip of an iceberg, what is disclosed or witnessed is typically a snap shot or small part of their full experience.  It is important to not underestimate the value of listening without judgment, and the positive impact of a kind word of encouragement.

One reason that many victims of family violence and abuse do not seek help, is that they are not aware of no-cost supports available to them.  If someone discloses family violence or abuse, it can feel uncomfortable for those receiving the information, and although they are sympathetic and concerned, supportive friends and family may be unsure what to say or do. If someone discloses family violence or abuse:

  1. LISTEN and BELIEVE the person
  2. Express CONCERN for their wellbeing
  3. Let them know about supportive RESOURCES
  4. DO NOT JUDGE them

Willow Place provides inclusive no-cost supports for diverse family violence prevention needs in Manitoba – 24-hours, every day.  Any person, any gender can call the crisis support line for information and to access supports such as emergency shelter and counselling:

1-877-977-0007 (this 24-hour line directs callers to the closest family violence resource in Manitoba)
204-615-0311 (Winnipeg local – call 24-hours for Willow Place supports and information)
204-792-5302 (text-only line, for information and support in Manitoba)


Moving Forward with COVID
Safety and support in congregate living setting

Navigating changing health precautions during the coronavirus pandemic has presented unique challenges.  For Willow Place’s family violence shelter program, keeping staff and participants safe and informed has been an ongoing focus.  Physical and emotional safety are fundamental to building trust – both within our team, and extending to our supportive relationships with program participants, and also community supporters and partners. As restrictions begin to relax in retail, restaurants and other sectors, those of us operating supportive programs and services in congregate living settings have had to preserve more stringent standards such as regular hand-washing, mask-wearing in communal areas, and more frequent sanitizing of all surfaces.  Although winter 2022’s omicron variant has proved to be less lethal, there is already discussion that a sixth wave of coronavirus is on the horizon – there certainly is a sense that we cannot put away the tools we created to sustain services during COVID quite yet, and that we will continue to learn, grow and evolve, factoring in changing health regulations as we move forward.

Currently we prioritize service access by vulnerable populations as follows:

  • Those entering family violence shelter are NOT required to be vaccinated
  • Shelter participants who test positive for COVID can self-isolate on site
  • Rapid on-site testing is available
  • Bi-weekly doctor appointments, in-person, on-site are available
  • Transportation to medical appointments provided

Above all, adaptability, pro-active focus and effective communication among have been central to preserving Willow Place’s family violence prevention supports; including shelter, crisis line and outreach. We are grateful for our hard-working, compassionate and dedicated team members, supporters and community partners who continue to demonstrate these important principles and help sustain 24-hour services.

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Donor Profile – Brenlee E.
Handmade creations for shelter program

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In the past months, Willow Place has been fortunate to receive beautiful handmade items and other necessities from Winnipeg donor, Brenlee E. There is something very special about things made by hand, and Brenlee’s lovely diamond painted keychains, book marks and journals have delighted many of shelter program participants!  Here is what Brenlee had to say in a recent conversation with us:

Q: Why did you chose to support Willow Place with in-kind donations?
A: “Because I had diamond painting projects that I wanted to share – someone told me about Willow Place and I phoned to ask – I felt it was the perfect place to give it to.”

Q: how did you learn about diamond painting, and what do you love most about it?
 A: “I heard about it from a friend of mine. She was selling little pictures, and I bought one. I started looking on Amazon, and I began with a small mermaid picture for my niece. I began buying different kits, (i.e., keychains, bookmarks, journals). I love trying the different projects, it calms me down and helps with my anxiety levels.”

Q: What is one thing you have learned since you started supporting Willow Place in this way?
A: “Just one kind action can put a smile on someone else’s face – it makes it worthwhile to do the diamond painting. I am grateful of how kind and accepting the people are at Willow Place, and how they appreciate the diamond painting projects I donate.”

Q: Do you have a favourite quote, poem, or song that inspires you – why is it so special to you?
A: “Love one another, love others – it’s simple.  One smile – and the world is a better place ~ Brenlee E.”
Brenlee also has a favourite song which she enjoys, “because it gives me peace.”
I Can Only Imagine, by Mercy Me


Career Feature -Casual Shelter Staff
Providing vital supports

Casual shelter staff perform vital roles in 24-hour crisis support services, providing extra support so staff can take vacation days, attend training, and also covering sick days.  Willow Place has a diverse group of casual support workers and counsellors who provide invaluable service.  Some of our casual shelter workers have bridged both counselling and support roles, and are able to support a wide range of participant needs; one of these important team members is Joan N.

Here is what casual counsellor and support worker, Joan, had to say:
Q: What is your favourite aspect of the support/counselling roles?
A: “I would have to say that is helping women and getting to know them. It is wonderful to see them start to relax and feel safe in the shelter, their tears turn to smiles and then to laughter as they start to feel safe.”

Q: What is one thing you have learned?
A: “Each woman coming into shelter has her own unique story to tell…shelter is where a woman can feel safe telling her story and not feel judged.  Women in shelter need reminders that they matter, and that they are not responsible for what someone else has done – they can only be responsible for their own actions.”

Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a shelter support worker or counsellor?
A: “Do not judge women who come into shelter. They have taken the first step toward ending abuse in their life by deciding to enter shelter. Show them kindness, support and understanding, and above all, show them respect. They need to be reminded of how strong they are and how important they are.”

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Q: Do you have a favourite quote or phrase that inspires you?
A: “No person should be judged by their past, they do not live there anymore.”

Women’s Health Clinic Partnership
On-site medical services for shelter participants

For the past four years, Willow Place has been working to bring partnered medical supports for women and children in our family violence shelter program. Just as we were ready to launch the program, coronavirus hit. Now, three years into the coronavirus pandemic, we are happy to share that bi-weekly medical visits from Women’s Health Clinic medical staff are underway.

Willow Place Executive Director, Marcie Wood, shared these insights into the medical partnership:

“The on-site clinic at Willow Place is mutually beneficial as this initiative supports the goals of both organizations – to bring services to where people gather. In this case, the offering of healthcare services on-site allows Willow Place to further enhance the inclusive, holistic services that we offer. For Women’s Health Clinic, this initiative supports the expansion of healthcare services in the community, for the community.   Furthermore, this initiative may allow participants to develop a medical connection they did not have previously, or may support the reconnection with former services.”

Some of the services women can access in a safe, non-judgmental space: general health, safe sex information and access to birth control, internal exams/PAP smear, pregnancy and STI rests.

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How YOU Can Help!
Follow, share, care

One significant shift during the coronavirus pandemic has been our increased use of technology to provide support, network, and support public education and general awareness goals.

Our web site and social media channels, as well as email communications have been integral to sharing out organizational priorities, donation needs and program information, for example.  In the shelter and outreach programs, access to virtual options has made a world of difference, sustaining existing partner relationships, and expanding interactions to benefit the populations we serve in family violence prevention.

Some of the most common reasons victims of family violence and abuse do not seek help are: limited personal supports, lack of awareness of abuse, social stigma and shame, and lack of knowledge about community supports. You can help Willow Place and partners share valuable family violence information, including how to access supports, by:

  • Following us on social media and sharing our posts with your networks
  • Subscribing to our newsletter, and inviting others to subscribe
  • Challenging false information and negative stereotypes when they arise
  • Sharing Willow Place contact details for those seeking support or information

Donations continue to be important for sustaining Willow Place services and supports. In-kind donations enable us to provide important essentials for those we serve – thank you for your belief in our work!

TO DONATE: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/27770
VIEW OUR WISH LIST: https://willowplaceshelter.ca/wish-list/

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WILLOW PLACE NEWS – February 2022

Supporting well-being: body, mind and spirit

Maybe you have heard of the winter blues? The shorter days, extreme cold temperatures and factors like challenging road conditions and transportation concerns can amplify feelings of isolation and higher stress levels that can occur during long, prairie winters.  For the past two years the impact of the coronavirus has contributed additional stresses.

The good news is that small changes can really tip the balance toward a happier and healthier winter! Suggestions include taking a walk outdoors daily to both support healthy immune, physical strength and endurance, as well as mental health. Just 10-15 minutes can make a difference!

Hydration is also important – winter air can be dry, and with many of us wearing COVID masks, it takes a bit of extra effort and awareness to remain well-hydrated. One guideline suggests one glass of water for every 10 kg of body weight, so a person weighing 70 kg should aim for 7 glasses of water a day. Not a water drinker? Start slowly, and boost hydration with herbal tea or soups.

Social needs can suffer during the winter. Setting up check-ins with friends or family that live alone; for those working from home, or confined to home by weather or illness, can be transformative for both parties.  Volunteering once or twice a month, including random acts of kindness, also help with social needs, as well as another fantastic benefit – did you know that when you help others, it triggers a biochemical reaction to support a healthier immune system?
Preparing meals in advance, and freezing portions for later use can also support wellness, providing a break on days when you feel too tired to cook. Preparing extra soup to share with a friend or neighbour, running an errand, or offering a ride on a cold day, are examples of small gestures that offer a welcome boost to both the giver and the receiver of the kindness. Where health precautions allow, connecting with a family member or neighbour to share bulk purchases and meal preparation can also build positive supports, and lessen the burden of meal preparation and food costs.

Another wellbeing tip to beat the winter blues is trying a new hobby or activity – many options are available online and with low or no cost.  Having something to look forward to is a wonderful thing, and depending on the format, hobbies can also support social needs.

Acceptance is possibly the most important aspect to managing wellness – what are some things you can only enjoy in winter?  Appreciating where you are at can support shifting the focus to things you have and can do, versus what you may lack. Listing what you are grateful for each day, and posting it where you will see it throughout the day is a helpful way to see potential in each day, regardless of the weather or season.

 Here are some links to support your winter wellness goals:
https://www.winnipegtrails.ca/trails-maps/ GET OUTDOORS
19/https://financialgym.com/blog/2020/2/8/how-to-meal-prep-on-a-budget MEAL PREP ON A BUDGET
https://www.crayola.com/crafts/ GET CRAFTY


Sustaining vital programs; responding to needs

Increasingly, Willow Place relies upon donations, fundraising and grant funds to sustain 24-hour family violence prevention programs and supports.  Willow Place continues to see higher demand for our services, along with increased operational costs, due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are also seeing individuals seeking support with more acute and complex needs. Willow Place must continually re-assess and adapt service delivery to meet changing needs. As such, we are especially thankful for the following organizations who have provided granted funds:

Women’s Shelters Canada, COVID recovery grant
Second Harvest Canada, food security grant
Healthy Together Now, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority – healthy living grant
Hockey Helps the Homeless
, housing support grant
Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, 
granted funds from agent fundraising
Winnipeg Foundation, 
family fund grants for general operations
Abundance Canada, 
gifting funds for general operations

We envision a future where healthy relationships flourish – thank you for sharing in this vision!

24-hour support and information: 1-877-977-0007 or 204-615-0311
Text support: 204-792-5302

Making a difference daily

The shelter support worker role is fundamental to Willow Place’s family violence shelter program.  Shelter support workers are versatile and highly skilled individuals who provide a wide range of valuable supports to women and children in the shelter program.  Support workers may manage 24-hour reception desk duties, while assisting with new participant intake and orientation to the shelter, and meeting daily needs of diverse participants in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment.  To allow mothers time to meet with counsellors, take a shower or make phone calls, shelter support may assist with child-minding.  Coordination of meal-times, snacks and preparation and cleaning of rooms and common areas, as also areas where shelter support plays a vital role. Twice weekly, support workers will facilitate house meetings with shelter residents, to share guidelines and information with participants, and to hear and bring forward participant concerns. Shelter support workers also support receiving and organizing of donations.  Maintaining safe and comfortable spaces is only possible with the contributions of shelter support staff – throughout COVID there have been additional tasks required, including more frequent general sanitizing as well as deep-cleaning routines.

Here is what Shelter Support Worker, Analita, had to say:

Q: What is your favourite aspect of the shelter support role?
A: Getting to work directly with the women and children who are in shelter and supporting  participants in activities such as games, crafts and groups

Q: What is one thing you have learned?
A: Learning to communicate positively with women from different cultural backgrounds and supporting individuals who are involved in abusive relationships

Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a shelter support worker?
A: This line of work can be stressful, lean on your coworkers and support them in the same way – always make sure to find time for laughter!

FOR WILLOW PLACE CAREERS OPPORTUNTIES: https://willowplaceshelter.ca/careers/

Serving diverse needs in community

Outreach is an important service provided by Willow Place, both on our own and with partner organizations. Outreach is needed for a number of reasons – for example, for earlier intervention when individuals are facing relationship difficulties.  The outreach program allows Willow Place to support a broader variety of needs, including supports for women, men, and also couples. Participants in outreach programming can access trauma-informed counselling and referral to other beneficial supports.

Willow Place counsellor, Sherri, provides outreach services by phone and also on-site with community partners and offered the following insights:

Q: What are some things you have learned or observed in the outreach program?
A: I was reminded today of how abuse does not discriminate. No matter the gender, race, educational level or socio-economic status, abuse can affect anyone

Q: Can you share a success story?
A: I have been blessed to walk alongside an individual that has connected back to their roots and traditional ways after fleeing an abusive relationship. What an honour to bear witness to someone moving from crisis toward thriving
Q: What is a something that inspires you in your work?
A: “The most important relationship we can all have is the one you have with yourself.” ~ Aristotle.

If in immediate physical danger – individuals should call 911
For 24-hour info and support: 1-877-977-0007 or 204-615-0311

Donate, share and connect

There are many ways to support Willow Place – all support, large and small is appreciated and makes a difference for participants of our family violence shelter and outreach programs! Willow Place relies upon both in-kind and monetary support to fund our services and to provide a wide array of essentials for our participants. We keep a wish list on our web site for those wishing to donate in-kind items. Due to limited space and staffing resources, we cannot accept all in-kind donations, but will happily refer donors to community partners who may be in need of certain items. 

Another great way to support Willow Place is by sharing our information!  Willow Place provides information on programs and services, family violence statistics, donation needs, community partnerships, healthy relationships and wellness on our web site and social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. When you follow Willow Place and share our posts, you let others know about resources available in our region.

In recent months, Willow Place has been inspired by the kindness, generosity and creativity of caring community members! Domino’s Pizza and Supper Central have shared meals for shelter participants; EMK Clothing has donated proceeds of sales via their Kindness campaign; and many local crafters have shared quilts, afghans, mittens, scarves. Recently, the Alt Hotel, Winnipeg has donated gently used bedding and towels, and I.C.E Recreational Marketing donated 30 boxes of children’s COVID masks!  Winnipeg Soup Sisters continue to bring family packs of frozen soup to feed our shelter participants, along with wonderful wish list items collected from community.  Calendar Club stores have provided several large bags of new charity teddy bears for the shelter, and SuperStore locations in Winnipeg continue to support us with occasional donations of Joe Fresh clothing and other items.  Chatters Salons have made several general donations of hair care products in the last year, and Richlu Manufacturing, Tough Duck staff and management have supported Willow Place year-round, including during the holiday season, and in the summer months with “Christmas in July” initiatives to fulfill wish list needs of our shelter program – truly amazing!

The coronavirus pandemic has radically changed so many things and has presented many challenges, including widespread economic impacts. One bright spot, however, has been increased awareness of the need for family violence prevention services, and improved online giving support. Willow Place also maintains an Amazon Wish List to make purchasing decisions easier for donors, and uses Canada Helps for safe and convenient monetary donations.

Here are some helpful links to support Willow Place!

WILLOW PLACE WISH LIST https://willowplaceshelter.ca/wish-list/
AMAZON WISH LIST https://www.amazon.ca/hz/wishlist/ls/3KAE8O4STE7GS?ref_=wl_share
CANADA HELPS https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/27770

WILLOW PLACE NEWS – October 2021

In this issue:

Royal LePage Support
Hockey Helps the Homeless
Summer Day Camp
Simons – My Heart My Cause
Winnipeg Foundation Grant
How YOU Can Help

Royal LePage SupportPurcell Mountain Challenge

Royal LePage agents have shown incredible enthusiasm and ongoing support for Willow Place services, with a variety of fundraising and donation initiatives. This August, two Winnipeg real estate agents, Alix McIntyre and Chris Pennycook, participated in the Purcell Mountain hiking challenge in British Columbia. Each participant had to raise a minimum amount to qualify. Together, Alix and Chris have raised over $100,000 for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, of which proceeds with be distributed to beneficiaries including Willow Place. HUGE thanks from all of us a Willow Place!

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Hockey Helps the HomelessCycling Fundraiser and 2nd Annual Hockey Event

Hope is on the horizon! For the third consecutive year, Willow Place is grateful to be one of three Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH) beneficiaries. This summer, Brothers of the Fork, a Winnipeg cycling club, collaborated to raise over $40,000.00 (September 11, 2021).  Willow Place receives one third of the proceeds, which are shared with Resource Assistance for Youth (rAy) and Red Road Lodge. In addition, plans are in full-swing for the 2nd Annual Hockey Helps the Homeless dream tournament where players get an opportunity to skate alongside their hockey heroes. Mark your calendars for December 3, 2021. Team sponsorships still available! 

For player, volunteer and sponsor info: CLICK HERE


Summer Day Camp – Canada Summer Job Grant
Thanks to granted funds from Canada Summer Jobs, Service Canada, Willow Place was able to hire two university students from June through August, 2021 to support our Summer Day Camp activities for children in shelter.  Thank you to Megan and Jasmine for their dedication, organization, flexibility and enthusiasm which resulted in a wide range of activities and supports for our young residents and their families.  Aside from providing regular programming and outings, Megan and Jasmine also supported administrative tasks and provided childminding nd meal-time support.


Simons – My Heart My CauseNational T-Shirt Campaign

In August, 2021, Quebec-based retail chain, Simons, launched their My Heart My Cause t-shirt campaign. Artists and designers from across Canada participate and nominate charities in their region. This year, Willow Place was nominated by Winnipeg design duo, The Ba.sic.  You may be familiar with The Ba.sic from local venues such as Third and Bird and Scattered Seeds. If all of the limited edition t-shirts are sold, Willow Place will receive a $10,000 donation. The white t-shirt with a bold, abstract graphic is the featured Willow Place design – please share and support if you are able, thank you.


 For info and to purchase: CLICK HERE!

Winnipeg Foundation GrantStabilization Funding

This July, Willow Place was grateful to receive stabilization grant funds through The Winnipeg Foundation.  The $50,000 received will sustain community outreach and housing support programs offered by Willow Place, including partnerships with Caring Dads, Access Health, The Salvation Army and Wahbung Abinoonjiag.  These funds are helping Willow Place with earlier intervention strategies and expanded support for diverse family violence prevention needs in the community.

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How YOU can help!Donations, Fundraising, Awareness-Raising

With 38 beds, Willow Place operates the largest and most-utilized family violence prevention shelter services in Manitoba.  In a typical year, we support 850-950 individuals in the shelter program, providing more than 9,000 shelter stays.  The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for our services, and has resulted in increased costs. As such, monetary and in-kind donations are especially important to sustain services on a 24-hour, no-cost basis. Please contact Renée or Pam for more information on either in-kind of monetary support or to inquire about a donation drop-off appointment: reneer@willowplace.ca or pamh@willowplace.ca

Monetary donations including cheques and bank drafts can be made out to “Willow Place” and mailed to P.O. Box 1786, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 2Z9. Monetary gifts can also be provided safely and securely online using Canada Helps: CLICK HERE!

In-kind donations are non-monetary gifts such as cleaning and craft supplies, and toiletries. Not all donations can be accepted at all times due to space and staffing limitations. Staff may recommend other organizations we collaborate with to help our clientele. All in-kind donations must be pre-approved and dropped off by appointment. Drop-offs are on a no-contact basis in keeping with coronavirus health precautions. A up-to-date “wish list” can be found on our web site: CLICK HERE!

Fundraising: the majority of Willow Place fundraising is third-party fundraising where individuals or groups organize events to benefit our services. Some examples are donation drives, product sales, performances and birthday celebrations. These events not only provide much needed monetary and in-kind support, they also encourage discussion about family violence prevention, and why organizations like Willow Place are important in our community.

** Third party fundraising forms and info can be requested by emailing pamh@willowplace.ca **

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Copyright © 2021 Willow Place Inc.
All rights reserved.

Our mailing address:
P.O. Box 1786, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3C 2Z9


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SafePet Program
The Winnipeg Humane Society

Thank you Willow Place support and SafePet foster parent, Pam Rempel, for providing her valuable insight on the Winnipeg Human Society’s SafePet Program!

“Winnipeg Human Society staff pair SafePet foster animals with experienced foster homes, providing safe, confidential, comfortable accommodations for pets while individuals or families are supported by Willow Place’s family violence prevention shelter programs and services. As a SafePet foster parent, I can say that we take care of a SafePet foster animal like they are one of our own family members.” ~ Pam RempelWhen a pet arrives at the Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) to be cared for through the SafePet Program, there are a few things that happen:

1) Foster parent, who are WHS volunteers (screened, trained, with background checks), receive information on available foster animals and basic information: species, size, needs, medications, etc.  No photos are included, but behavioural information is provided to help foster parents know if they are best-suited for the animal.  Foster parents know the animal will not be up for adoption and that no photos, social media posts, or other web activity is permitted to protect the owner and pet identities.

2) When a volunteer feels they are a good match, the WHS Foster Department is contacted. Dedicated WHS staff discuss the SafePet’s needs with potential foster parents, while maintaining owner confidentiality and anonymity. WHS confirms suitability of foster home, and ensures that the foster home is not located in the same area where owner has lived – this prevents run-ins while walking dogs, etc.

3) Once approved, the assigned foster family brings the SafePet home. The animal is given the care, support and attention that matches their needs.

4) The WHS behaviour department is available to foster volunteers should there be a need for advice. Foster parents can also be matched with a mentor for questions and advice.

5) When the SafePet is able to return to their owner, the foster volunteers bring the animal to the WHS where a summary of their foster stay is recorded (Foster Pet Profile). The Profile highlights success and opportunities for support that may have occurred during the foster stay.”It is an honour to be entrusted with a pet while new housing is established. Having a plan for beloved pets is so important, and I’m proud to be part of the SafePet Program.” ~ Pam Rempel

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Pam Rempel with foster animal – only feet and tail of pet are showing to protect identity

Royal LePage Purcell Trek
Winnipeg Real Estate Agent supports Willow Place

Willow Place has been fortunate to have ongoing support form Royal LePage real estate agents through the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation’s national initiatives.  Not only do these hard-working individuals help Willow Place sustain 24-hour family violence prevention services in Manitoba, they also raise awareness through on-going fundraising efforts.

In August, 2021, Winnipeg Royal LePage real estate agent, ALIX MCINTYRE, will be off-the-grid on a 6-day hike through the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia, participating in the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation’s Challenge for Shelter fundraising trek. Alix must fundraise a minimum of $5,000 to participate, and has identified a $10,000 fundraising goal.For more info and to support Alix McIntyre:https://royallepage.myetap.org/fundraiser/purcell/individual.do?participationRef=1185.0.2325457503

Hockey Helps the Homeless
Virtual fundraiser a success!

2020-2021 presented unique challenges for the annual Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH) fundraising efforts. In 2019-2020, Willow Place was a beneficiary of HHTH’s inaugural dream tournament in Winnipeg, where amateur players enjoyed the opportunity paly in a dream tournament where teams are captained by hockey pros. The hockey heroes donated their time for this spectacular event.  The coronavirus pandemic made in-person play and spectator participation impossible last year, and resulted in HHTH National and title sponsor, Canada Life, devising a virtual fundraiser called THE CANADA LIFE CUP.  The new format allowed anyone to form a “team” and participate in fundraising activities. The Winnipeg event committee also re-grouped and hosted a 50-50 draw, as well as an online prize auction. Thanks to the generosity of community members, businesses and clubs, over $5,000 was raised through the online auction. Special thanks to Qualico Homes for their very generous donations of décor and furnishing items for the online auction. In total, The Canada Life Cup raised over $90,000 and proceeds will be shared equally between Willow Place and two other beneficiaries: Red Road Lodge and Resource Assistance for Youth.

Thank you to National Founding Sponsor
Red image of hockey players with Canada Life logo – founding sponsor tribute.

Trauma-Informed Yoga 

NCJWC Grant expands shelter programming

In April 2021, Willow Place received granted funds ($3,000) from the National Council of Jewish Women Canada (NCJWC). Winnipeg Section, to augment trauma-informed yoga services in the family violence prevention shelter program. Trauma-informed yoga is a gentle, inclusive practice that is structured for “every body,” using an adaptive approach that provides choice and suggestions versus instructions to participants. Yoga is available for all shelter residents including adults and children.  The trauma-informed yoga program leader, Richelle, is currently developing pose charts for the shelter so that women can practice yoga when she is off-site. Trauma-informed yoga has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety; help with mood regulation, improve sleep and self-esteem, along with physical fitness benefits.

Did you know that monetary donations can be designated for a particular program area or service?
Some options include: trauma-informed yoga, cultural services, children’s services, outreach services, food security, and COVID-19 health and safety.

For more information on donations and fundraising opportunities:
pamh@willowplace.ca or 204-615-0313, ext. 237

donation info image
image of hand with rainbow reflection and “I can help” wording

How YOU can Help
In-kind and monetary donations

Willow Place operates Manitoba’s largest and most-utilized family violence prevention shelter services. In a typical year, over 900 women and children will access the shelter, translating into more than 9,000 shelter stays. The coronavirus has further highlighted the need for family violence shelter supports, and has resulted in increased operational costs. As such, monetary and in-kind supports are especially important to sustain Willow Place’s 24-hour, no-cost services.

Monetary donations:
Cheques and bank drafts can be made out to “Willow Place” and mailed to:
P.O. Box 1786, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 2Z9
Monetary gifts can also be given online, safely and securely using Canada Helps:

In-kind donations:
In-kind donations include non-monetary gifts such as program and household supplies, toiletries, and clothing. Not all in-kind donations can be accepted at the shelter at all times, due to storage and staffing limitations. Donations staff may recommend community partners who regularly assist Willow Place clients with provision of free necessities. All in-kind donations must be pre-approved and dropped off by appointment.  Current donation drop-offs are no-contact, in keeping with recommended health precautions for coronavirus.

For more information:
pamh@willowplace.ca – 204-615-0313, ext. 237  (Monday through Friday, daytime hours)
taylors@willowplace.ca – 204-615-0313, ext. 233  (Tuesday and Thursday, daytime hours)Copyright © 2021 Willow Place Inc.

All rights reserved.

Our mailing address:
P.O. Box 1786, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3C 2Z9

WILLOW PLACE NEWS – February 2020

Challenge for Change
Domestic Violence Youth Media Contest 2019

By Marcie Wood, Executive Director, Willow Place

Challenge for Change is a three year (May 2017-April 2020) project funded by WAGE Canada and hosted by Willow Place.  The project is supporting gender-based violence (GBV) system transformation through collective impact.  The project is overseen by the Willow Place Board of Directors, and a multi-sectoral Steering Committee provides guidance and advice to the project.  A needs assessment was carried out in the early stages of the project, which resulted in the identification of selected practices that require change to adequately support those experiencing gender-based violence.  The project is implementing actions under each of the four recommendations: 


WILLOW PLACE NEWS – October 2019

New Willow Place Executive Director
Congratulations Marcie Wood

Willow Place is pleased to announce that former Community Coordinator, Marcie Wood, has been hired in the role of Executive Director.  Marcie brings a rich history of work in the family violence sector, and was a key member of the three-year Challenge to Change project funded by Status of Women Canada, and led by Willow Place.  We hope you will join us in welcoming Marcie to this new role.



Women Helping Women
Winnipeg Realtor’s Sahara Trek to Support Willow Place

By Pam Hadder, Community Coordinator, Willow Place

This winter, Willow Place was approached by Royal LePage realtor, Nicole Hacault, about a very unique fundraiser – Nicole Hacault is one of 120 Royal LePage realtors across Canada, and one of two Manitoba realtors, that will be trekking across the Sahara Desert in November 2019 in support of Canadian shelters.  Willow Place is honored and grateful to be the recipient of Nicole’s incredible Royal LePage Shelter Foundation initiative!  Royal LePage and the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation have been top supporters of Willow Place, helping us to be able to continue to provide no-cost emergency and ongoing support to women and children dealing with family violence and abuse.