The Pan Am Place (PAP) family is pleased to provide you with an update on some of the tremendous progress made over the last few years – the success of which would not have been possible without your generosity.
In late 2022, Aaron Black PAP’s Manager, left the organization to pursue his dreams in the Big Smoke! Aaron’s management of PAP resulted in a stable, strong organization that functioned well during some very difficult times for those facing communal living. As a result of Aaron’s departure, Chris Sarifa and I have fulfilled the Manager role and are assisted by long time Supervisors Kym Soke, Matt Kakepetum and Greg Glatz. As a team, we take great pride in the work we do and the many lives we have supported over the years. Since its inception in 2013, PAP has assisted over 600 young men in need of a second chance.
PAP has provided safe housing, food, community programming integration and life skill development for over 100 men since our last update letter in 2020. As residents learn, grow and develop, they will transition out, allowing for new young men to be accepted into the facility for as long as necessary to get them on track. In 2022 alone, PAP supported over 40 residents, with 20 currently residing and receiving support within the house. Some of the noteworthy accomplishments we’re pleased to highlight in 2022 are as follows:
• Eight of our former residents have moved on to live independently and are currently renting their own apartments.
• Two past residents now work directly with people experiencing homelessness, manning support staff positions in shelters across the inner city. One resident, leveraging his sobriety while living at PAP, now does addictions work at The Bruce Oak Recovery Centre and another, while finishing his post secondary degree in social work, works as an at-risk youth coordinator.
• One of our residents was reunited with his family and now lives with them full time.
Our current group of residents are also making great progress. Noteworthy accomplishments include:
• Three are slated to move out independently within the next few weeks. One was recently able to finish schooling and now works fulltime as a personal trainer. Another will be able to support his two kids at his own place.
• Twelve of our residents are currently working either full time or part time for various organizations and two have recently completed trades programming, soon to embark on their apprenticeship placements.
• Seventeen of our guys fight the hard battle of addiction each day and are working hard to upkeep the culture of sobriety at the house, the longest of which having 2 and a half years under his belt. Some of our residents have formed their own sobriety group which they now serve on the Board. PAP provides them with a space for meetings and social gatherings.
Some time has passed now since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. A few house-wide outbreaks have occurred since. Quarantining was tough on our guys, both physically and mentally. Those battling addiction and mental health issues struggled in not being able to exercise, commune with their supports, and socialize with their peers. Demands on our food budget increased with the raised appetites of idle bodies. The mettle of PAP was put to the test through the pandemic and we’re proud to say that, through the work of our dedicated staff members and through the resolve and mutual support of the men, we were able to see it through that challenging time.
Fitness and mental health are important aspects of the PAP program. Participants are required to participate in a number of boxing classes every week. These classes help the guys to sharpen their discipline, physical health and mental fortitude and with that their self confidence and mental health. Impressively, a handful of residents have stepped in the ring to spar with one having competed in and won an amateur boxing match. On top of this 8 of our current residents regularly attend counseling in some form – an additional avenue to strengthen their mental health and one strongly encouraged by our staff.
Pan Am Place II Home For Young Women: Update
PAPII, Home for Young Women, was forecasted to open its doors at the end of 2020. Due to the pandemic, our plans were delayed indefinitely as we were advised by the Government of Canada that no new homelessness projects would be approved due to funding restrictions. The End Homelessness Winnipeg funding body that partially funds PAP’s operations, advised that all resources were required to support existing projects only through Covid. In 2022, we received word that PAPII would not be approved for capital (construction) funding now or in the near future. Funding resources are extremely limited and new projects of this nature are not being supported. As a result of this disappointing development, PAPII Home for Young Women will not proceed. We will continue to support young women through our free youth boxing program which occurs on a weekly basis at the Pan Am Boxing Club.
If you donated to Pan Am Place and asked that your donation be allocated to PAPII Home for Young Women, please be advised that your donation has been retained in a segregated account and has not been used for any other purpose. Now that we have been made aware that we cannot proceed with PAPII initiative, we ask that you please contact us as soon as possible if you do NOT want your donation used for the many needs of PAP Home for Young Men. As our facility is now coming upon its 10th year anniversary, we need to replace our beds, mattresses, appliances, bedding, and laundry facilities just to name a few.
We are pleased to share this update with you and are very grateful for the work we’ve been able to do through a very challenging period of years. It takes a community of support to make a difference and we have, with your help, demonstrated that at Pan Am Place. It is our mission to continue this necessary and meaningful work, with a view to helping hundreds and thousands of young men in future years, as they come and go through our “home”.
Please consider further supporting our men to have a fighting chance. Any donations – financially or in kind – can be sent through our website or by contacting Chris Sarifa: firstname.lastname@example.org or Jason Aniceto: email@example.com On behalf of the family of staff and residents here at Pan Am Place, we sincerely thank you for your support.