Manitoba Government Invests $300,000 in Mount Carmel Clinic to Support, Enhance Thunderwing Project
May 29, 2023
Supports to Complement Collaborative Approach with Clinic: Goertzen
The Manitoba government is investing $200,000 in Mount Carmel Clinic to administer the Thunderwing Project and an additional $100,000 to enhance the project to support women who are in contact with the criminal justice system, Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.
“Community mobilization works to connect at-risk individuals to supports they need to address and stabilize crises, while alleviating demands on police and the justice system,” said Goertzen. “Thunderwing has demonstrated significant outcomes in supporting individuals and families facing multiple barriers, and the Manitoba government is pleased to enable Mount Carmel Clinic to administer this important project. The clinic offers primary health and social services, connections to Indigenous Elders and supports that complement the collaborative approach.”
Thunderwing is a community mobilization project that co-ordinates and mobilizes resources across sectors and aims to improve community safety and family well-being. In operation since 2013 as part of the Block by Block Community Safety and Wellbeing Initiative project, Thunderwing started as a pilot in Winnipeg’s William Whyte and Dufferin neighbourhoods due to high rates of violent crime.
The Department of Justice, which until now has administered Thunderwing, decided to reallocate $200,000 to a grant for a community-based organization to provide and expand the project, consistent with how community mobilization is funded throughout the rest of Manitoba. In November 2022, Mount Carmel Clinic was selected through an expression of interest process as the successful community-based organization to administer the project.
In addition to moving the program to a community-based provider, the department is funding an additional position to focus on supporting women who are in contact with the criminal justice system. Community mobilization offers a unique opportunity for an equity and gender-based lens to support women and their families experiencing multiple barriers to services, the minister noted.
“Mount Carmel Clinic is thrilled to be chosen as the new home and heart for the long-running, community-driven program, Thunderwing,” said Bobbette Shoffner, executive director, Mount Carmel Clinic. “It is with great excitement we embark on this journey, supporting and uniting with multiple community agencies in a collaborative effort to empower families, and pooling resources to provide complex, comprehensive and holistic care to those who need it most. Together, we celebrate the strength of community partnerships in creating circles of support.”
This community mobilization funding is another part of the department’s Violent Crime Strategy, which is being supported with nearly $52 million in Budget 2023. Previous investments include $2.1 million for dedicated police resources to establish a Manitoba Integrated Missing Persons Response, $2.1 million for child abuse response resources, $3.2 million for the creation of the Integrated Violent Offender Apprehension Unit to strengthen intensive bail and supervision for serious, violent offenders, and $1.4 million to Manitoba Prosecution Service to increase capacity to address violent crime.
The minister noted that the expansion of the Thunderwing project to serve multi-barriered women and their families has resulted from an increasing number of women being involved in Manitoba’s criminal justice system since 2018, while the number of men in custody has decreased. Evidence supports that women experience worse health and social outcomes after spending time in custody compared to men, the minister added.
For more information on Mount Carmel Clinic, visit https://www.mountcarmel.ca/.
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