March 20, 2018 2:30 pm
Updated: December 4, 2018 6:27 am

New Winnipeg resource guide aims to reach most vulnerable people

The Winnipeg Outreach Network Resource Guide will be handed out to anyone experiencing homelessness, sexual exploitation, or an emergency situation. To support the initiative or share your ideas about the resource guide, email Ma Mawi at info@mamawi.com

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There is now an extensive resource guide for anyone experiencing sexual exploitation or homelessness in Winnipeg.

The Winnipeg Outreach Network (WON) created a one stop guide as a way to reach vulnerable people who may find it difficult to access help or supports.

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WON is a grassroots collaboration of street outreach teams in the city working together to connect with people on the streets. The network interacts with exploited children, youth, women, men, transgender individuals, anyone who is homeless, at risk, or involved in a gang, as well as children in or out of care.

READ MORE: Child sexual exploitation in Canada: survivors reveal terrifying reality

“It was created because there was no one resource for people who are homeless,” Melissa Stone from Ma Mawi said, adding the guide is for “emergency situations, for showers, for food.”

Stone also notes this is a big step forward to enhance collaboration with agencies who are working together to help people on the streets.

“We’re hoping that street-entrenched populations such as sexually exploited, homeless, at risk of homelessness, people who aren’t connected to services, can access these services and become more aware of them,” Althea Guiboche from End Homelessness Winnipeg said.

READ MORE: How to keep your children safe from online exploitation

Front line agencies will now be able to distribute the guide featuring more than 100 resources to vulnerable people in the community.

“They will have a PDF copy if they run out of copies,” Guiboche said, so more can be printed.

“It will be handed right directly to individuals who need it most.”

The Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) is also involved. Officers will be distributing the resource guide to people during outreach downtown.

WATCH: Behind the scenes with the Winnipeg Police Counter Exploitation Unit

“The map is clearly laid out and the resources are identified by the primary basic emergency needs, so food, clothing, shelter,” Sgt. Richard McDougall from the WPS said.

“Once they locate a service agency that they wish to attend, they can find the number on the map colour coded.”

Here’s a look at the WON Resource Guide for vulnerable people:

“Through my team with the Counter Exploitation Unit and the Missing Person’s Unit, we work very closely with agencies such as WON,” McDougall said.

The are 18 agencies involved in WON, which started in 2006. If you need support, you can contact them. Street outreach numbers are available on the resource guide.

The Winnipeg Foundation and Children’s Advocate funded the WON resource guide.

WON is aiming to update the guide with the latest information every six months so it’s readily available for anyone in an emergency situation. Funding is needed to make that happen, Stone said.

To support the initiative or share your ideas about the resource guide, email Ma Mawi at info@mamawi.com.

WATCH: Survivor of exploitation shares words of hope for anyone struggling

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