Candace House, other victim service organizations to get new provincial funding

Wilma Derksen announces the opening of the Candace House named after her daughter, Candace Dersken. Global News / File

Candace House will be receiving extra funding from the province this year, to the tune of $100,000 – $70,000 more than had been originally announced.

The new money for the victim support facility is coming from the Manitoba government’s criminal property forfeiture fund, as well as the federal proceeds of crime fund and the victims’ assistance fund.

Candace House, located near the Law Courts in downtown Winnipeg, was started by Wilma and Cliff Derksen, who became strong advocates for victims after their daughter Candace was killed in 1984. It offers families of homicide victims a safe place to receive support while involved in the criminal justice process.

“The murder was very traumatic,” said Wilma, who said she understands the needs of families going through court – because she had similar experiences after her daughter was killed.

“But the re-victimization of the whole justice system was when the stories turned to real anger.”

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Justice minister Cliff Cullen said Thursday that the province is proud to fund organizations like Candace House.

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“Our government will always stand up for victims of crime and their families, which is why we are committed to supporting organizations like Candace House,” said Cullen.

“Feedback about Candace House has been overwhelmingly positive since its launch last year and we are pleased to provide this funding, which will enable them to continue providing needed comfort to the families of homicide victims and others who are navigating the criminal justice system.”

Cecilly Hildebrand, Candace House’s executive director, said the funding will allow the organization to continue its important work.

“We are honoured by the continued support from the province, which will allow us to focus more efforts toward providing enhanced care and comfort during the court process for families who have lost loved ones through violence,” said Hildebrand.

“We’ve offered a place for families to sit together while they’ve cried through the pain and grief. We’ve heard from families that if it weren’t for Candace House, they have no idea what they would have done.”

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Another $235,000 in provincial funding is being shared among eight additional community organizations which support victims of crime. including Sage House and Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad Inc., said Cullen, including those affected by sexual exploitation or assault, domestic violence, impaired driving, and homicide.

A further $83,500 will go toward supports for victims such as access to Indigenous elders, the province’s intervention dog, programming for victims of domestic violence, and more.

WATCH: “We need a house’: Wilma Derksen explains how Candace House came to be

Click to play video: '“We need a house’: Wilma Derksen explains how Candace House came to be'
“We need a house’: Wilma Derksen explains how Candace House came to be

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