47 years ago, an empty United Church on the corner of Ross Avenue and Sherbrook Street in Winnipeg became Rossbrook House. Young people were often found lounging and, sometimes, resting on the left-behind pews.
Today, while we still hold the values created by Sister Geraldine MacNamara and the youth who created this inner-city drop-in centre, a lot has changed. Rossbrook House remains a safe haven for children and youth. It is a place for programming, meals, and to meet friends.
In the spirit of reconciliation, Rossbrook House is working towards being an inclusive space for all. After consultation with various people, including the Rossbrook House Board of Directors, and the Sisters who have been involved with Rossbrook House for decades, the decision has been made to remove the cross from the front of the building.
The cross will be replaced with a tile project that will help carry Rossbrook House into the future as well as honour our past. It will be created under the direction of a tile artist who will guide and mentor the children and youth of Rossbrook House. We’re excited to see what their child-centered design will look like when it is revealed in the spring of 2024.
The cross has been carefully removed and will be respectfully disposed of under the guidance of Pinessee Exteriors, and Colin Mousseau, a respected knowledge keeper who has volunteered at Rossbrook House over the years. In consultation with the Sisters, it was apparent that the disposal of sacred items is similar to how Indigenous culture lays to rest its sacred items.
We look forward to sharing the new look of our building next year. Stay tuned!