One of the biggest changes this year for the HUB program in Portage was its name.

They made the switch a few months ago to Wawokiya, which means the ones that help.

Mari Lawrence is the Wawokiya Coordinator. She reflects on the changes they made this year.

"I started chairing HUB in March, so I learned all of that community mobilization model. We made some significant changes to the model this fall and received $65,000 from the Department of Justice, which was a big deal to us."

They work with 13 different agencies in Portage including Addictions Manitoba, ROK Central, and the Canadian Mental Health Association.

She says it's been really exciting to see the project grow.

"We're still adjusting to the new programs, so we're building support teams around our clients now," says Lawrence. "We're still working on our rebranding, and we have a logo being made by a high school student. We're anticipating that in the new year."

The program was previously created for acutely elevated at-risk clients, and de-identified information was shared. Now they're on a consent-first basis.

"We meet twice a month now as a table, and clients receive ongoing support from us. Whereas, before we offered services and agencies followed up individually," says Lawrence. "We're working with clients who want to change, and who are working towards that change."


Wawokiya works with these agencies: 

Southern Health
Department of Families
Youth for Christ
Michif Child & Family Services
Addictions Foundation of Manitoba
ROK Central
Portage School Division
Child & Family Services Central
Dakota Ojibway Child & Family Services
Canadian Mental Health Association
Manitoba Housing