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This article was published 20/4/2020 (587 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Wolseley Family Place has closed its doors, but it continues to help vulnerable Winnipeggers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization’s office, located in Crossways in Common at 222 Furby Street, closed on March 23. Crossways in Common was closed due to concerns about COVID-19 exposure, as the building houses vulnerable families who need protection from the virus.
Wolseley Family Place offers a number of services to low-income and vulnerable families, including drop-in counselling, a playroom for children and other supports. Most of their in-person services are no longer available, however the organization is continuing to follow up with their clients by phone and email.
Emma Fineblit, Wolseley Family Place executive director, said, for many families, most of the problems they face before are made worse by the pandemic.
"This situation is hitting everyone in different ways, it’s especially hard for young families. One thing we encourage people to do is come out and take part in our programs, as a way to avoid social isolation. Basically, people are being asked to do the opposite," Fineblit said. "Folks might have already been struggling with the day-to-day requirements of being a parent, especially if they live in poverty. All those (problems) are exacerbated now."
Fineblit said many families relied on their in-person services, such as their respite child care program. Some of their clients would just come in to use a computer, phone, or get assistance with applying for government programs and services.
The organization is still offering its food bank services with Winnipeg Harvest, so families who were registered for that program are still receiving food. The organization is combining food packages with games, toys, and items that the whole family can enjoy together.
Fineblit said residents can still call and email them. They’re keeping up with families using phone appointments and they will continue to check in on the people in their care.
Fineblit added that many nonprofit companies are struggling with reduced funding.
"It’s been a challenging time for non-profits. We’re luckier than some, our funders have been very understanding and flexible … (but) I know a lot of social enterprises that are suffering at this time," Fineblit said. "I’m so impressed at how (nonprofit companies) have responded. People have come together really quickly, efficiently, and I am really honoured to be a part of that community that’s doing such good work right now."
Fineblit said the big thing they’re doing is reminding people that they’re not alone. They’re looking at ways of offering their programming online, possibly through video chat or livestream.
For more information, visit wolseleyfamilyplace.com. Wolseley Family Place can be reached at 204-560-3141 or by email at email@example.com
The Metro community journalist
Justin Luschinski was the community journalist for The Metro until May 2021.