Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Safe place to call home for newcomers

New apartment under construction for single moms, kids

  • Print

A new apartment building for some of Winnipeg's most vulnerable residents will open downtown next summer.

In July 2014, the six-storey, 40-unit Marie Rose Place will welcome refugee and immigrant single moms and their children.

The $9-million project includes federal and city contributions of $990,000 each, with the province and developer Hargrave Holdings each putting up $2 million.  The developer is taking out a mortgage for the rest.

It will be run by Holy Names House of Peace, which is next door, and will offer support programs and services to residents regardless of their religious affiliation or cultural origin.

"I feel like today is a new page in the book of my life," Asel Diusheeva said at a sod-turning ceremony Thursday in front of the Edmonton Street construction site.

"I came to Canada with hope my daughter and I have a good future," said Diusheeva, who arrived in June from Kyrgyzstan. She plans to send for her 13-year-old daughter, who is staying in Kyrgyzstan with her grandmother, as soon as she finds work and a place for them to live.

'I feel like today is a new page in the book of my life'

-- Asel Diusheeva

But up until now, all she could afford in Winnipeg was a room in a "cheap hotel" and her plan to create a new home for her and her daughter seemed hopeless.

"I didn't feel safe," Diusheeva said.

She heard about the House of Peace and contacted Sister Lesley Sacouman, the group's executive director, who welcomed her to the transitional housing facility on Edmonton, which will have permanent housing with 40 two-bedroom apartments next door next summer.

Holy Names House of Peace supports newcomer women who are in transition.

"As a single woman and a single mother in a new country, it gives me hope that one day my daughter will be here," Diusheeva said.

She's the kind of person developer Bob Dick was thinking of when he read a Manitoba government housing report in 2010 mentioning the 120 refugee and immigrant women who arrive in Winnipeg every year alone, pregnant or with children but no local family or friends.

"I was wondering what happens to these 120 people a year?" said Dick, president of Hargrave Holdings Ltd. "Where do they go? Where do they live?"

Dick, the son of immigrants, was concerned for the well-being of these women in a new country and a new city with a vacancy rate below one per cent. He approached Sister Sacouman and plans for the apartment complex next door to House of Peace started to take shape.

Marie Rose Place is breaking new ground in Manitoba as the first women-only apartment block for newcomers, said Dick.

"There's not another place like this."

It will be named for Marie Rose Durocher, who founded the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in 1843 in Quebec.

She opened schools for young women -- especially newcomers and women who were abandoned or marginalized.

In Winnipeg Thursday, Sacouman saluted the courage and resilience of women uprooted from everything and everyone familiar to them when they move to a new country.

"Our pioneer newcomer women have left all and dared to hope against hope," she told the crowd gathered on Edmonton Street, including representatives of all three levels of government.

"I'm proud to be a woman here supporting other women," said Shelly Glover, St. Boniface MP and parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance. "This is our home to share with newcomers who need a family."

The rent-geared-to-income housing will help women adjust to their adopted country and flourish here, said Manitoba Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross.

Jenny Gerbasi, the city councillor for the area, said it welcomes and needs them.

"It's great to have more downtown residents," said Gerbasi (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry). "It will become more of a neighbourhood as we have more people living here."

The 38,000-square-foot complex is designed by Mistecture Architecture + Interiors Inc.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 5, 2013 A9


Updated on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 9:56 AM CDT: Corrects that Hargrave Holdings is taking out a mortgage for the rest, not Holy Names

July 8, 2013 at 11:31 AM: Corrects sentence referencing funding arrangements.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Top 5: Famous facts about the Stanley Cup

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • June 24, 2012 - 120624  -  Amusement riders on the last day of The Ex Sunday June 24, 2012.    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press
  • Winnipeg’s best friend the dragon fly takes a break at English Gardens in Assiniboine Park Wednesday- A dragon fly can eat  food equal to its own weight in 30 minutes-Standup photo- June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


What do you think of the government's announcement that there will be no balanced provincial budget until 2018?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google