Study shows negative cycles are broken, strength and empowerment are gained through Family Resource Centres
An isolated mother connects with neighbours and takes a parenting class. Pre-school kids are fed and enjoy an educational play room. A low-income family does their laundry, while a phone and computer help someone with their job search.
These things happen quietly, every day, in neighbourhoods across Winnipeg at Family Resource Centres — outposts of strength and support for people who need a little extra help.
A 2015 United Way Winnipeg study looked at 22 centres in our city. It concluded that Family Resource Centres are critical to the health of our neighbourhoods.
“This centre was the first time I was stable for my kids… they have a stability that I didn’t have as a kid. This place is an anchor,” said a mother in the study.
Study participants reported breaking negative cycles. They found strength, empowerment, and learned to trust and build their self-esteem.
“The Centre helped me find myself again. Being involved gave me a sense of purpose… I started reflecting on what I needed to do to get my life on track again.”
The Winnipeg study — Possibility & Opportunity — found holistic, strength-based and preventative approaches at Family Resource Centres are helping vulnerable individuals, families and neighbourhoods become stronger.
They are bonding families and creating better outcomes for children and our shared future.
To celebrate 50 years of caring in Winnipeg, United Way is focusing on this essential network of support for families and kids.
Through United Way, Winnipeggers support 24 Family Resource Centres that provided help to more than 35,000 people in Winnipeg last year. It’s ordinary, everyday magic that is geared to the needs of individual communities.
“I know from my work as a public health nurse decades ago that some families have more complicated lives than I do,” said United Way Winnipeg president and CEO Connie Walker during a recent visit to see the breakfast program and ‘walking school bus’ at the Plessis Road Family Resource Centre.
“When families live in difficult circumstances there are things our communities can do to help.”
This year, consider a special gift for Family Resource Centres, and help build a stronger Winnipeg by supporting these front lines of compassion, caring, and hope for families throughout our city.
Donate online at www.unitedwaywinnipeg.ca/give or by calling 204-477-UWAY (8929).
Originally published by Canstar Community News.