Imagine that you have recently immigrated to Winnipeg. You, your husband and your four children have made the long journey from a faraway place to this cold climate. After years of living in a refugee camp, where your youngest son was born, you are looking forward to living in an environment where disease is not rampant. You land in Winnipeg excited for this new chapter of your lives.
After spending a few weeks living in transitional housing, your settlement worker has helped you to find a more permanent place to live. Your family moved into a four-bedroom townhouse in North Winnipeg. Things are going great, your husband has found a job that helps provide income to the family while you stay at home and care for the children.
Suddenly though, things start to go very awry. One night your kitchen window is broken. The culprit is unknown but the large brick you find beside your fridge is an obvious cause. A few days later, an enterprising individual decides to put a garden hose through the broken window, turn the tap on and let the water stream into your kitchen. You awake to a VERY wet main floor.
Your experiences back home have taught you that calling the police isn’t an option.
Diana King is a third year law student at the University of Manitoba. She has a keen interest in the interconnections between law and community development fuelled by her prior education and experiences as an active volunteer in Winnipeg.