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Winnipeg Boldness Project helping families in the North End

Winnipeg Boldness Project
Global News Morning's Abigail Turner brings you one North End family's experience working with the Winnipeg Boldness Project.

Eager to roll up his sleeve and show off his tattoo, Darrin Richard, father of four, proudly points out each of his child’s names, written across his arm.

Being Dad is something he wouldn’t change for the world.

“It’s something I really cherish, something I’ll always cherish, these kids growing up and watching them become their own little people,” Darrin Richard said.

Darrin Richard’s family.
Darrin Richard’s family. Submitted

Being a dad is the reason he began visiting the Winnipeg Boldness Project two years ago, and decided to join the Parent Guide Group.

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The group looks at issues families are facing specifically in Point Douglas and Project Director Diane Roussin said it’s about breaking a cycle.

“We’re situated in a particular neighbourhood in Winnipeg that we tend to call the North End, but formally known as Point Douglas, and we’re really trying to look at, what does it take to make it better for babies,” Roussin explained.

Diane Rousin is seen talking with Winnipeg Boldness members.
Diane Rousin is seen talking with Winnipeg Boldness members. Global News

Boldness was started six years ago, and Rousin said the unique part of the organization is that they work directly with residents in the area to find solutions.

“Very rarely are our families even asked if they know what the problem is or with what somebody else has defined the problem as being, and they’re rarely asked to participate in an ongoing, reciprocal way into a solution finding of the problem,” Roussin said.

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READ MORE: ‘Huge frustration’: Politicians, police should source inner city for solutions, says Point Douglas activist

Richard said he has no problem with sharing what he thinks is one of the major issues in Point Douglas.

“A lot of it has to do with the area, I’m very blunt, but it’s the truth, it’s the drug problem in the area,” he said

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Initially, Roussin said a group of parents came up with a list of about 40 reasons that affect families’ quality of life in Point Douglas.

“There are a lot of challenges in this neighbourhood, the poverty, the [failure] rates are really high in a lot of different areas. From justice to education to health and so those are the complex challenges,” Roussin said.

“What I feel boldness has done they’ve given parents a voice in the area and shown them that you know, we’re here for you, we’re here to listen, we’re to help you guys advance,” said Richard.

Darin Richard is seen talking with members of Winnipeg Boldness.
Darin Richard is seen talking with members of Winnipeg Boldness. Global News

Roussin said as fathers like Richard continue to visit the Boldness Project, they gain a second family for life.

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“There are people in this neighbourhood who have seen Darrin when he was a baby and they have seen him grow and evolve as a person,” Roussin said.

“There are people now who are looking at Darrin and beaming with pride to how far he’s come in his life,” said Roussin.

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