West End 24-Hour (WE24) Safe Space
SNA's West End 24 Hour Safe Space for Youth (also known as WE24) operates out of 430 Langside Street (in Winnipeg, MB) and provides an overnight space for youth ages 13-26 to rest, relax, access food, resources, and basic needs, in a supportive, kind, and warm environment.
Summer and Winter Break:
During the School Year:
Friday, Saturday, and Winnipeg School Division 1 school holidays
11PM to 7AM.
Tracy McKenzie and L. David, West End 24 Hours Safe Space Co-Managers
WE24 Outreach Office: 204-783-5000 ext. 111
WE24 Outreach Cellphone: 204-333-9681
Brief Program History:
The West End 24 Hour Safe Space has been a dream of the residents of the West End for many years. We have been so thrilled over the last two years, to watch this project go from a grassroots dream to a plan, to a project with funding behind it, to an open and operational service, to a family of youth, volunteers and staff that work to keep the most marginalized among us safe and connected to positive role models and resources.
I was working when a new participant came in. They said that it was only their second time here but that they really like it at we24 and wished that it was open every day if the week and that if it was they would come every day. When I asked what they liked so much about it they said the hospitality was so great and that everyone is just really kind.
It [WE24] means everything to me [and] all of my friends. We all just walk in a group like one big family.
One of our youth was connected with Terry (SNA’s Homeless Outreach Worker) who was able to get them into safe housing. The youth told staff that they love their new home and it feels very safe.
Winnipeg's West End, a low-income neighbourhood with higher crime rates and more active streets than most, had no 24-hour safe space for youth until the summer of 2016.
Unfortunately, in our neighbourhood, and in many others, youth are not experiencing the safety and care that most of us had while growing up. In other neighbourhoods, such as the North End, there have been successful creations of 24-hour safe spaces, through Rossbrook House and Ndinawe, to counter this unfortunate reality. We wanted to follow their examples and provide a space where youth feel safe and respected and the staff is well-trained and caring people.
We believe that it is our responsibility to keep each other safe and provide positive opportunities to the youth of our community.
For this reason, West End 24-hour Safe Space was born. When youth are in crisis and exploited, and home is no longer a refuge, they can't wait until morning to find safety.
Concerned Winnipeggers and West End community groups came together in 2014- 2015 and created a plan for a safe space, informed by the youth who needed it most. With monetary support from individuals, organizations, community groups, partners, and funders, we were able to open our doors in 2016.
What you had to say about starting WE24: