Provincial government pledges up to $7.5 million for family resource centres.

At a media conference at United Way, the Manitoba government announced it will match donations to United Way’s For Every Family initiative in support of 24 family resource centres.

Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart was joined by Dilly Knol, Executive Director of Andrew Street Family Centre, and David Johnston, President of Johnston Group, to announce more help for Winnipeg kids and families.

“Our government is committed to improving the lifelong outcomes of women and children in Manitoba,” said Minister Wishart.  “We know that investing early and wisely in family supports is the key to helping them get the best possible start in life and we are proud to partner with the United Way Winnipeg on this practical, prevention-focused initiative to support and strengthen families.”

The community-driven For Every Family initiative enhances preventative and community-based programs at United Way Winnipeg’s network of family resource centres, and aims to increase children’s school readiness and reduce the negative impacts of poverty on families.

“We know how to turn this money into better futures.”

Dilly KnolExecutive Director, Andrews Street Family Centre

Specific priority areas for the funding include expanded hours for family resource centres and women’s centres; quality early childhood development and programming; food and nutrition programs; parent coaches and counseling; literacy training; system navigators; and volunteering and pre-employment opportunities.

“Together we recognize this as a transformational opportunity for marginalized children and families in Winnipeg, and a way to strengthen all the neighbourhoods in our vibrant, caring city,” said David Johnston, president, Johnston Group, who leads the For Every Family volunteer working group—a passionate, committed group of Winnipeggers who have collectively raised several million dollars already.

Minister Wishart confirmed a total of $7.5 million in new funding, which is designed to leverage matching donations over a six-year period.  The project is supported through the Early Childhood Development Innovation Fund (ECDIF).  The ECDIF was established by the Manitoba government in 2013 in partnership with the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and other private and philanthropic investors.