The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul served in Winnipeg, Manitoba from 1923 to 1996. Their ministry in Winnipeg focused on institutions for children in need, including Providence Shelter, St. Joseph’s Vocational School, St. Joseph’s Day Nursery, and Yale House Group Home.

Sketches of Providence Shelter and St. Joseph’s Vocational School by Terri Horricks (SPSVP 2003-20-5 and 2002-28-21).

Providence Shelter (1923-1938)

On October 20, 1923, the Archbishop of Winnipeg requested that the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul open Providence Shelter to take care of children under the age of five. The Sisters of Providence operated Providence Shelter until August 1938 when they took over St. Joseph’s Orphanage for Boys from the Grey Nuns. Providence Shelter was closed and the boys were transferred to St. Joseph’s Vocational School and the girls were sent to St. Agnes Priory run by the Good Shepherd Sisters

Providence Shelter was an orphanage for children under five from 1923 to 1938.
Photographer: The Star Photo Studio, Winnipeg (SPSVPA 014-223.1.1-4)

Children playing at Providence Shelter in August 1927 (SPSVPA 014-223.1.1-5)

St. Joseph’s Vocational School (1938-1979)

The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul ran St. Joseph’s Vocational School from 1938 to 1979. (SPSVPA 014-223.1.2-1)

The Grey Nuns ran St. Joseph’s Orphanage for boys in Winnipeg from 1906 to 1938. The Sisters of Providence Kingston took over the Orphanage in 1938 when the Grey Nuns withdrew from this ministry. The name of the Orphanage was changed to St. Joseph’s Vocational School and shifted its focus to provide training facilities for boys as well as providing them with their day to day needs and wants. Over the years, the number of orphaned boys decreased and the school began to operate as a training school. In 1979, St. Joseph’s Vocational School closed its doors after 40 years of service to the community.

Children and sisters picking beans in July 1945 in the gardens of St. Joseph’s Vocational School. (SPSVPA 014-223.1.2-7)

St. Joseph’s Vocational School in the winter (SPSVPA 014-223.1.2-S-2)

St. Joseph’s Day Nursery (1956-1992)

Between 1956 and 1992, the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul operated St. Joseph’s Day Nursery in Winnipeg.  The day care was developed at St. Joseph’s Vocational School and was part of the complex until 1979 when St. Joseph’s Vocational School was demolished and a new day care building was opened on the same site. St. Joseph’s Day Nursery closed in June, 1992.

The day nursery just before it was demolished in 1979. (SPSVPA 014-223.1.3-1)

St. Joseph’s Day Nursery reopened in a new building on the same site in September 1980. The day nursery closed in 1992. (SPSVPA 014-223.1.3-9-B)

Yale House Group Home (1979-1996)

In 1979, the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul opened a group home on Yale Avenue for developmentally challenged boys.  They operated this facility until 1996 and during this time, as the boys grew older, the home changed from one for boys to one for men. In 1996, when the Sisters of Providence withdrew from Winnipeg, Yale House Group Home was transferred to the St. Amant Centre.

Sr. Dorothy Hills and Sr. Peggy Flanagan at Yale House in the 1980s. (SPSVPA 014-223.1.5-1)