The concept of a women’s centre arose from an evening of conversation with three women discussing the need for services for women and their families in the North End of Winnipeg.
One of the women took the initiative to pursue the development of a preventative model and a women’s resource centre. In 1983, an advisory committee of two community women and four agency representatives formed to secure support and funding. At a committee meeting in April 1984, a steering committee was created to guide the development of a women’s centre.
The Core Area Initiative provided a two year grant from 1985 to 1987. A house at 453 Selkirk Avenue was purchased and renovated. The North End Women’s Resource Centre opened in April 1985.
In 1994, the North End Women’s Centre relocated to its current home at 394 Selkirk Avenue. NEWC receives core funding from the United Way of Winnipeg and Family Violence Prevention Program of the Province of Manitoba.
The North End Women’s Centre fulfills its mandate by providing:
- individual, crisis, and group counselling services;
- a drop-in centre with free phone; information & referral services;
- an Addictions Continuing Recovery program
- employment and volunteer training;
- educational workshops;
- community mobilization; and
- community economic development programs.
North End Women’s Centre is dedicated to community development and mobilization. NEWC partnered with sister organizations to support the development of the Wahbung Abinoonjiiag, Oyati Tipi Cumini Yape, and North Point Douglas Women’s Centre’s mandates.
NEWC created a community economic development project called the Northern Star Collection. This project began as a Clothing Club where women came together to share stories and to repair donated clothing. The Clothing Club evolved first into a Sewing Circle and then into the Women’s Artisan Network. In the fall of 2000, NEWC relinquished “ownership” to the women’s cooperative.
NEWC’s social enterprise, the Up Shoppe, has been part of NEWC’s programming for more than 10 years. It evolved from providing clothing to families in need into a full community economic development project.
In 2002, the North End Women’s Centre purchased 382 & 384 Selkirk Avenue buildings. The 382 Selkirk Ave location was renovated and includes the Up Shoppe, four offices, and two emergency housing units. 384 Selkirk Avenue was demolished to make way for wheelchair accessibility to the Up Shoppe, additional parking, and a community garden.
In 2006 NEWC purchased and opened a transitional housing facility in the West End of Winnipeg called the Betty Berg House. The Betty Berg House provides safe and affordable short and long term transitional housing for single women struggling with issues of mental health, addictions, safety, chronic transience, and homelessness. This project aims to help women move from homelessness toward stable housing. Programs include holistic services, individual and group counselling, advocacy, nutrition education, and role modeling healthy and socially acceptable behaviours.
In 2012, Chriss Tetlock Place was opened on Selkirk Avenue with the purpose of hosting the Addictions Continuing and Ongoing Recovery Program and operating as transitional housing for participants of the Addictions program.