Portage Community Revitalization Corporation saw 2022 as a year of pivoting to respond to changing community needs.
Executive Director Mari Lawrence notes the early part of the past year saw some virtual programming including Yoga and Winterfest.
"We gave out free quarantine kits for kids," notes Lawrence. "We were able to begin holding in-person programming again in the spring, which drew huge attendees to Touch-A-Truck. The Hallowe'en event had a number of partners for. The Communities In Bloom program was hosted once again, this time at the national level in the summer."
He says they had a graffiti removal campaign again over the summer months, which removed 35 tags.
"The local Immigration Partnership Program held another annual Anti-Racism Week," continues Lawrence. "PLIP also received funding through Jumpstart to run a free cricket program through the fall. We funded a Labour Market Needs Assessment for Portage la Prairie that was completed last year. The Urban Indigenous vaccine clinic wrapped up in the spring which vaccinated over 9000 individuals."
Lawrence explains they also launched the Home Roots First-Time Homebuyer program. She adds they also were funded to have a Zoongide mural painted at the BDO Community Centre from Heritage Canada.
"That was completed in memory of Renata Beaulieu this fall," says Lawrence. "The Communities Building Youth Futures Program secured funding to expand the Roving Campus program at PCI this fall. We also joined Second Harvest and distributed thousands of McCain Breakfast Pockets to other organizations and people we support. We ended the year receiving provincial funding for food security which we are distributing to other organizations."
Among all these efforts, she says the Reaching Home program that supports many community members find housing continued onward.
"They've housed almost 20 people from April 1st to now," adds Lawrence. "They also help obtain ID. They've been supporting food security and helping clients with other supportive program applications. The Urban Indigenous Community Coordinator has been busy doing more presentations on Indigenous culture and reconciliation than ever before. We also had an Indigenous language program run this year in partnership with ROK (Recreation Opportunities for Kids Central). Wawokiya continued to help individuals and families with complex needs."
Lawrence says they also supported the Truth and Reconciliation Day celebrations, held multiple elections events, and hosted a PCRC tour for our new Council to help them become more well-versed in what they do.
"We've had so many partners over the past year that we're so grateful for, and we're looking forward to all of the partnerships that 2023 brings, and finding new partnerships, as well," notes Lawrence. "PCRC continues to respond to community needs and we're looking for new ways that we can support the community in 2023. We've done tons of grant applications over the past year and we're always working on new grant applications. We also ran our Small Grants program in the spring and fall of 2022, and we do that annually."
She says future events that are upcoming include the Mental Health Youth Summit on January 18th, which Communities Building Youth Futures and Wawokiya have partnered together to put on.
Lawrence says they're also planning some smaller vaccination efforts in light of their awareness that people are still looking to get COVID boosters while others are still looking for flu shots. Winterfest is also coming up in February closer to Louis Riel Day.