Velma’s House: 24/7 Safe Space

An initiative led by Ka Ni Kanichihk, in collaboration with the 24/7 Safe Space Planning Committee, which consists of: Manitoba MMIWG2S+ Coalition of Families, the Lived Experience Advisory Committee, Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre, End Homelessness Winnipeg, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre and the West Central Women’s Resource Centre. 

The space is named in honor of Velma Orvis, who worked closely with the community until her passing in 2020. It is our hope that the space embodies the unconditional love which Velma showed to everyone she met.  

Service Provided

Velma’s House is a place of safety, comfort and connection for all women. It is low barrier, meaning there is no need to be sober to access services, which include:

  • Access to traditional medicines, elders, ceremony, and cultural ways of healing
  • Hot meals, to-go lunches, water, tea, coffee
  • A safe place to rest, warm up or cool down
  • Hygiene and harm reduction supplies
  • Laundry and shower facilities
  • Emergency clothing
  • Extensive support with employment, housing, and navigating systems such EIA and CFS

Location and Hours

Women can access Velma’s House on a drop-in basis at 154 Sherbrook St. There is no need to book an appointment or call ahead.

Hours of operation are Monday to Friday: 9am – 8:00pm, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm – 8pm. These hours will be extending over the next few months; updates will be provided via Ka Ni Kanichihk’s Facebook page, so please check back regularly. We hope to increase our hours of operation to 24/7 by Fall 2021.

Funding and Donations

This project is funded in part by the City of Winnipeg, End Homelessness Winnipeg, Government of Canada, United Way and Women and Gender Equality Canada. 

Donations are accepted at the door (please call ahead if possible). We are currently in need of:

  • sweatpants / leggings
  • plain tank tops
  • runners and flip-flops
  • hygiene supplies (small bottles of shampoo, soaps, lotions, pads/tampons/liners, etc.)
  • hoodies
  • bras
  • sample size makeup items

Contact Information

Isabel Daniels, Program Coordinator: idaniels@kanikanichihk.ca, 204-560-3008 

Anisha Saddler, Support Worker: asaddler@kanikanichihk.ca, 204-560-3007 (main line)

Please direct potential funding opportunities or financial donations to:

Amy Graham, Project Manager: amyg@kanikanichihk.ca