Province funds street ambassadors for North End

Neighbourhood ambassadors are coming to Winnipeg’s North End, with the provincial government announcing Tuesday $50,000 for a project where volunteers will patrol the streets in the inner-city neighbourhood.

Hugh Coburn, a retired police officer who has worked with ambassador projects in several other neighbourhoods, is helping to organize the program in the North End.

He said Tuesday that the North End ambassadors will work with many other groups in the area, including Winnipeg police, to be the “eyes and ears for the community.”

“We’re not police officers, we’re volunteer ambassadors, community youth or maybe even seniors,” Coburn said of the group’s members.

“We’re not sure what we’re going to look like when the program’s put on the street, but we’ll be dealing with a lot of community events, giving out some instruction, we’ll be trained in first aid, notebook and report writing.”

The province also announced $45,000 will go to a similar patrol program in the Daniel McIntyre and St. Matthews neighbourhoods in the city’s West End.

The added funding means two new paid patrollers will be on the streets, in addition to the two the West End Biz already has.

Other North End initiatives that received funding boosts from the NDP government included a $26,000 project that will provide more outdoor lighting in the William Whyte and Point Douglas neighbourhoods, as a way to improve safety.

As well, about $81,000 will go to a program called Peace Begins at Home at the North End Women’s Centre. That program will provide training and support for mothers and caregivers of young people involved in gangs.

August 10, 2014