Starts second half of century with first-of-its-kind housing project
With a new location, an exciting new housing project, and a sold-out fall fundraising gala, Rainbow Resource Centre is ready for the next 50 years.
Rainbow Resource Centre has had many iterations since it was founded as a campus club at the University of Manitoba called Gays for Equality in 1972. During the past half century, the organization morphed from a groundbreaking, student-led club that provided peer support and opportunities for the 2SLGBTQ+ to combat isolation, to an advocacy group fighting for the rights of its community, challenging political candidates on their platforms, and working to encourage an-ti-homophobia training within Winnipeg School Division.
Today, Rainbow Resource Centre defines itself through three pillars: space, services, and advocacy, according to executive director Noreen Mian.
“Space really means ensuring that we can nurture inclusive spaces, whether within Rainbow [Resource Centre] or out in the community. We do this through diversity, equity, and inclusion training in workplaces and schools,” says Mian.
At Rainbow Resource Centre’s new location at 545 Broadway, an entirely new type of space is being built – Canada’s first housing for 2SLGBTQ+ adults. The Winnipeg Foundation is proud to support this project, which is a partnership with Westminster Housing Society, a non-profit housing developer that rehabilitates and constructs afford-able housing in West Broadway and surrounding neighborhoods.
“Our goal was to build affordable housing for 2SLGBTQ+ seniors, because there’s a real fear of the possibility of seniors going back into the closet when they enter a congregate living or long-term care setting,” says Mian.
The housing complex, which will consist of 21 units, is a way to provide seniors with an opportunity to age in place for as long as possible. The housing will be attached to Rainbow Resource Centre’s main location, increasing the organization’s footprint, and creating a campus that will serve as a third space – a place that is neither home nor a workplace, but a place people can go to feel comfortable in themselves and free to spend their time. The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2024.
To learn more about Rainbow Resource Centre, its history, housing project, or to join the wait-list for its upcoming 50th anniversary gala, visit www.rainbowresourcecentre.org.