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Episode 15: Spence Neighbourhood Association

The Spence Neigh­bour­hood Asso­ci­a­tion (SNA) works with the peo­ple of Spence to revi­tal­ize and renew their com­mu­ni­ty in the areas of Holis­tic Hous­ing, Com­mu­ni­ty Con­nect­ing, Com­mu­ni­ty Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment, Envi­ron­ment and Open Spaces, and Youth & Families.Spence Neigh­bour­hood is locat­ed between Portage Avenue and Notre Dame Avenue and Bal­moral Street and Agnes Street.

Spence Neigh­bour­hood Asso­ci­a­tion was incor­po­rat­ed in 1997 as a non-prof­it hous­ing group formed by five vol­un­teers who want­ed to work togeth­er to improve the liv­ing con­di­tions of the area. Those vol­un­teers orig­i­nal­ly worked togeth­er to clean up one back lane, and then decid­ed to ren­o­vate a house for a young family.

Next, they began to expand their activ­i­ties and found fund­ing through the Win­nipeg Devel­op­ment Agree­ment for the Light Up Our Neigh­bour­hood pro­gram, which pro­vid­ed dusk-to-dawn secu­ri­ty light­ing on hous­es in the area to improve safe­ty. The Light­ing project allowed vol­un­teers to meet hun­dreds of res­i­dents in the area who received lights. This net­work allowed more ideas for projects to grow, more vol­un­teers to help, and more ener­gy to tack­le fur­ther issues.

The orga­ni­za­tion con­tin­ued to grow and take on more projects, and even­tu­al­ly was able to hire staff. In Jan­u­ary 2000, the orga­ni­za­tion moved to Mag­nus Elia­son Recre­ation Cen­tre at 430 Lang­side Street, and activ­i­ties con­tin­ued to grow in the new com­mu­ni­ty space. With this growth the orga­ni­za­tion made the shift to a rep­re­sen­ta­tive com­mu­ni­ty devel­op­ment group and devel­oped a new con­sti­tu­tion and elect­ed a board from the neighbourhood.


  • Lin Howes Barr, Executive Director

    Since 2013, Lin has wore a number of different hats at SNA, including working at the youth drop-in centre, helping to administer a number of evening programs for youths aged 12 to 18. She then went on to manage the West End 24 Hour Safe Space, an overnight space for youth ages 13-26 to rest, relax, access food, resources, and basic needs, in a supportive, kind, and warm environment. She has served as SNA's Executive Director since 2019.