We recently sent out a letter to the community on behalf of Velma’s House, reflecting some changes to Velma’s House services.
Our changes include:
- Increased safety: We have contracted Bear Paw Security to be on site 24/7. This group is more rooted in conflict resolution in comparison to other security firms. They understand how to de-escalate a situation.
- Added staffing: We have hired a fourth staff member for each shift at Velma’s House to address the needs of the participants, and to support positive interactions within the community.
- Revised participant intake process: Our new intake process includes a thorough review of safety expectations for every visit and for every guest. That means we greet everyone and assess their situation at the front door to determine if we’re the right place for them.
- Updated internal processes: We have worked to clarify a better understanding for our staff and guests about what services and supports we provide. We are aware we cannot provide services for all community members. Our role is to provide support and a safe space for women with immediate safety needs. We can also help women who need greater support by finding them organizations and services better equipped for their specific needs.
Although we know the importance of Naloxone access in combatting toxic substance poisonings, this is currently outside of our capacity at Velma’s House.
To be clear:
- In situations where Naloxone is needed for a person off our property, we will call paramedics.
- When people come to us with open wounds, we will send them to the hospital for care.
- We cannot be a first stop for women released from jail. These women deserve to be in a transition home as they reintegrate into the community. We are not designed to support these kinds of situations.
Velma’s House always has, and will continue to offer referrals and to help navigate health, employment and housing systems. We are proudly living up to our founders’ vision, and our hard-working and heartfelt staff will continue to do so with love and kindness for many years to come.
To make the really big changes Winnipeg needs in this unprecedented toxic substance crisis, everyone needs to work together. We are inviting you to work with us to address these larger issues in whatever form you are able.
We are here to stay and to continue building a community which cares for all our relatives.