An organization that helps women get back on their feet after trauma is excited to have it's second annual run, this year in person.
"SHADE is a second stage housing initiative here in Winnipeg that, our vision is to help support women and heal from the impact of abuse. There are two components. There's the safe housing and then there's the Directed Empowerment part, which is psychosocial counselling and practical support," says Sherrie Winstanley, the Executive Director and Founder of Safe Housing and Directed Empowerment (SHADE).
The safe housing facility is in the process of being finished.
"Right now in Winnipeg, the total capacity for second-stage housing is 26 women plus their children and that was cut in half during the lockdown for safety measures. There's just not enough housing," she says.
While the room available for women escaping domestic abuse was cut in half, the need increased during the pandemic, according to Winstanley.
"When people were advised to stay home, home isn't always the safest place to be. The need became greater."
The funds raised for this year's SHADE 5 km fundraising run event will go toward the organization's three programs.
- Mirrors, a reflection of Immigrant Women Building Healthy Relationships - a 10-week workshop program specifically geared towards refugee women who have been impacted by domestic violence.
- Directed Empowerment, which is one-on-one services, such as psychosocial counselling, financial help, legal information and advocacy work, education and employment, and more.
- EMBRACE: Immigrant Women Building Resilience Together, which is an outcome from the Mirrors program, that offers group support and workshops on parenting, tenant rights and responsibilities, goal/career planning, computer skills training, how to manage and cope with current struggles, money management, planned family activities, and more.
"I am extremely passionate about what I do. Part of the reason I do what I do is because I am a survivor/overcomer of intimate partner violence," says Winstanley.
Last year the first annual run was virtual and participants had eight days to complete it. This year, the run will be held in Assiniboine Park on September 18th from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. Anyone interested in registering for the run can do so on SHADE's website.