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Resource for victims’ families reopening — with restrictions — after Manitoba courts resume

The Manitoba Law Courts Complex.
The Manitoba Law Courts Complex. Manitoba Courts
After being closed amid the coronavirus crisis, Candace House will again give victims of violent crime a place to seek comfort in the coming weeks.
Candace House — which provides a safe place for families, victims and survivors while they navigate the court process — is expecting to see the number of people needing help to increase as Manitoba courts begin reopening as well, said executive director Cecily Hildebrand.
Manitoba Chief Justice Glenn Joyal issued a notice Monday that all currently scheduled criminal, civil, family and child protection trials — with the exception of jury trials — in the Court of Queen’s Bench will take place in person between May 26 and the end of June.
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“We closed in March when COVID-19 was just making its appearance here, and we’ve continued to work, providing virtual support how we can and taking on other projects,” Hildebrand told 680 CJOB.
“We’re very glad we’re working toward reopening now.”
“We’re making changes to our space and thinking through how we deliver our services, raising funds to get that process underway in terms of purchasing sanitizers and installing dispensers and getting cleaning supplies and masks and all those things that are needed to get us open safely.”
Hildebrand said when Candace House does reopen, things will be different, especially when it comes to some of the facility’s basic features, like allowing families to use the kitchen.
At this time we’ve decided that we won’t be preparing any of the food — there are just too many risks in terms of our kitchen being open and accessible,” she said.
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“When you’re going through having lunch or having snacks, that’s something that’s so important, so critical — to have that good nutrition, to have a place to go, and we can’t serve food, so we’re looking at different options.”
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Hildebrand said the grief and loss faced by some families is being exacerbated by the stress of the pandemic.

“We’re working toward re-opening in a way so that we can provide support for those families sustainably and safely.”

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