A support centre named after slain teen Candace Derksen could be up and running by late 2017.
The vision of a safe house for victims of crime came from Wilma Derksen, Candace's mother, to give victims of crime a safe place to go to while they are going through the justice system. Candace was just 13 when she disappeared on Nov. 30, 1984, while walking home from school. Her body was later found frozen inside a storage shed near the Nairn Overpass.
A perfect location — just minutes away from the Winnipeg court house — has been scouted and the non-profit is in the midst checking to see if it will work, said Candace House Executive Director Cecilly Hildebrand.
"When you a victim or a survivor and you are going through the justice process, you need to find a place to park, you go into this strange building you have never been before, you go to court, you are emotional and you need a safe place to go," said Hildebrand.
The dream was further bolstered Wednesday when the support centre received a $30,000 grant through the province's criminal property forfeiture grant program. The money will go towards operating funds for the centre as they continue to do research and work on programs, Hildebrand said.
Candace House received a setback in 2014, after officials offered to move into the historic Dalnavert House, located south of Broadway on Carlton Street. However, after the offer was opposed by lobby group the Friends of Dalnavert, they withdrew their proposal.
Hildebrand said more funds are still needed to get the support centre operational.