At Thursday’s event, the federation joined together with the National Government of the Red River Métis to announce the start of construction of the new complex, which aims to offer support and services to Red River Métis youth. Known as Mazoun Infinitii Pakoshayimoohk/Infinity House of Hope, the complex will consist of 12 one-bedroom units, two two-bedroom suites and two emergency suites for individuals and families interacting with the child welfare system. The “Mazoun” will be located on Edison Avenue in Winnipeg.
For Mona Buors, the federation’s minister of Métis child and family services, the project is a result of the “recognition that our kids, like all children, still need support and a safety net as they navigate the transition from childhood to adulthood.” She added, in a press release on Oct. 5, that the need to be there for Métis youth is consistent with the commitment that the federation has made.
The transitional housing units in Mazoun will be offered to youth aging or having already moved out of care, while providing education on life skills along with therapeutic and cultural programming. Emergency suites will be available for youth previously involved with Métis child and family services. And for families working to be reunited with each other, the complex will offer temporary housing.
The complex received funding through several programs from various levels of government, including the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative.
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“The ongoing housing crisis in Canada is a challenge that the Red River Métis government is tackling through a multi-pronged approach, from support for first-time home buying to home repairs and support for those experiencing homelessness,” said Will Goodon, MMF’s minister for housing and property development.
“Kids leaving care are among the most vulnerable populations in Canada, with an elevated risk of homelessness. (Mazoun) will provide a solid foundation for continued growth and development for our Red River Métis youth, which will allow the residents to leave care positioned for success.”
As part of its Oct. 5 release, the federation said youth who age out of the child welfare system tend to see an abrupt end to support services, leading them to experience issues such as unemployment, homelessness, victimization, depression and other challenges.
The Mazoun complex is expected to be built by the summer of next year.
MMF, Winnipeg break ground on ‘monumental’ transition housing project for youth
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