October 23, 2018 1:14 pm
Updated: October 23, 2018 4:32 pm

Bear Clan Patrol setting up den, expanding services in the North End

WATCH: Known for their efforts to keep the community safe and clean up neighbourhoods, the Bear Clan will soon have their own dedicated space. Global's Amber McGuckin reports.

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A growing community support group is getting a space of its own.

The Bear Clan Patrol is known for their efforts finding missing youth and working to keep Winnipeg streets safe.

READ MORE: Bear Clan volunteers find nearly $600 worth of meth in Winnipeg neighborhood

For the past four years, the group has worked out of a shared space. That will soon change.

The group announced on their Facebook page they will soon move their operations to a dedicated space at 584 Selkirk Ave. in November.

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The group is currently conducting their nightly patrols from a 40′ shipping container because their previous location at Ndinawe Youth Drop in is under some renovations this month.

While an official date has not been given for when they will move into their new location, the new space will give them room to do much more.

“This is going to be the new Bear Clan den,” executive director James Favel said. “This is going to be our base of operations and a more permanent presence in the community. We can occupy it all day and night if we need.”

The plans for the space include training sessions — on topics such as mental health first aid, CPR, resume writing and language classes.

“It’ll be a drop in for community members, we will have computers, TV, opportunities for training programs,” Favel said. “We want to provide a safe place for adults to come and socialize without having to worry about drugs and alcohol.”

The Bear Clan Patrol became a driving force for community safety in Winnipeg following the death of Tina Fontaine in 2014.

READ MORE: A closer look at Winnipeg’s Bear Clan Patrol, evolving and expanding since 2014

Prior to the teens tragic death, the Bear Clan Patrol was a group of 12 people sitting around a board room table with an idea and running patrols largely in Winnipeg’s North End.

Favel said the murder of the 15-year-old was the catalyst for change and what pushed the Bear Clan Patrol to hit the streets.

It started with scaring off Johns and progressed to tracking down missing children and runaways.

As it says on their Facebook page, “the Bear Clan Patrol is in response to our communities need to protect the women, children, elderly and vulnerable community members.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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