Frequently Asked Questions
Where does the money go when I donate to 1JustCity?
When you donate to 1JustCity, all of the funds are used to help us support our guests. This can mean we use your donation to buy tuna when we haven't had enough donated for sandwiches, or we may buy toilet paper for our bathrooms. We also use funds to pay for bills like heat, staff or security at Just a Warm Sleep and the outreach sites.
Are you a Christian organization?
1JustCity is a secular charity that was created by the United Church of Canada's Winnipeg Presbytery. The services offered at our sites were never limited to any one of a particular religion nor has any religious involvement been required to access supports. Many of our volunteers are led to social justice work as a result of their Christian faith but many of them are non-Christian. They may be atheist, Muslim or Jewish. All are welcome.
Can youth volunteer?
Absolutely! Youth can volunteer at any age. Age 14 and under, they must be accompanied by a guardian. Ages 14 -16 they'll be supervised by an adult volunteer and 16 & up can volunteer independently. People can volunteer as a family preparing food, wrapping Christmas presents and much more. Young adults can also participate in our internship program!
Are the people using your services causing crime in the area?
Most of our guests are struggling with meeting their basic needs. For some of them, panhandling is a way they make money, others sell art they've created or taken on odd jobs. Although some of the guests may be using substances that are illegal - their addictions stem from serious trauma. In our harm reduction approach, we meet them where they're at and work with them to build a better life for themselves and in so doing, for all of us. People having their basic needs met reduces crimes of desperation.
Why should I support people who are homeless?
Homelessness can happen to anyone if the right, or in this case wrong, circumstances happen. In our staff's lives, we have had incidents of relationship breakdown or renovation mishaps that have led to temporary homelessness. The difference is that we all had family and friends who gave us a safe space.
For the guests at 1JustCity, the social network they have can't offer that safe space, so we do. Sometimes it's temporary as some people experiencing homelessness had something fall apart and they haven't figured out how to put something different back together yet. Once you're homeless, the steps to getting housed and finding support to do that are sometimes hard to understand and the barriers are many. We're happy to work with other Winnipeg organizations to try to make that an easier process for folks.
Are people using drugs at 1JustCity sites?
We do not allow the use of any drugs (except prescription medications) inside our spaces. Folks may have been using prior to entry. All are welcome so long as they make everyone else feel safe and welcome too, by acting in accordance with our respectful code of conduct.
Why is this transition important?
West Broadway Community Services (WBCS) is a founding member of 1JustCity, which was conceived a few years ago as an umbrella organization for four outreach ministries in Winnipeg: North End Stella Community Ministry, Oak Table, St. Matthews Maryland Community Ministry, and WBCS.
The purpose of this transition is simple: for 1JustCity to assume certain administrative functions on behalf of these missions to ensure that our focus and energy at WBCS can remain on helping the people and communities that rely on us. By working together through 1JustCity, we can help keep our operations be sustainable for many years to come and we can focus on what matters most, the people in need in our community.
What will happen to WBCS programs?
Nothing will change unless we want it to. One of the main goals for this transition is to allow each 1JustCity site to focus on their community’s needs while decreasing the administrative and fundraising burden to their leadership. Our WBCS guests, staff, volunteers and donors will always set the direction for the work we do.
A site advisory committee will be set up and led by WBCS, which will guide programming and needs, and will report to the 1JustCity board for informational purposes only; to share ideas, needs, successes and challenges. By sharing this information, we can learn from the other sites, secure new funding and solve problems.
What will happen to WBCS staff?
All the staff at WBCS will become staff of 1JustCity but this won’t impact anyone’s responsibilities, salary or title. Lynda will continue to lead WBCS, Zyta will help fill the bellies of those who need a meal, and Lara Rae (who is already a 1JustCity employee) will ensure a smooth and safe experience for everyone who visits. Lara Hunter will be wrapping up her administrative contract as she’s ready for new opportunities.
What if I want to make a donation to WBCS, specifically?
You can definitely still do that! When you make a donation to 1JustCity, you can always direct where your funds go. You simply specify that you want your donation to go to “WBCS lunch program,” “WBCS Alabaster jar,” or “WBCS emergency food bank,” (for example) and that is exactly where those funds will go.
If you want to make a general donation that helps fund the operations of WBCS, you can make that gift to 1JustCity, as it will now cover all the operating costs of our site. These donations are essential to the work we do; they help pay the rent and keep the lights on. We hope you’ll continue to support us in this way.