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Apr 25, 2024

4 min. read

Localer Daniel Hidalgo Works to Support Winnipeg's Most Vulnerable Community Members

Photograph of Daniel Hidalgo (pictured with his son) courtesy of Mike Richard. Text by Jeremy Freed.

Growing up in the child welfare system, Daniel Hidalgo went through the anxiety of not having his basic needs met, from stable housing to new shoes. Those life moments gave him a unique understanding of what it’s like to live in “survival mode,” as he puts it, as well as a desire to help other people in similar situations. “I would have given anything for a helping hand in those moments, and that created a very empathic perspective,” says Hidalgo, who is currently completing a bachelor of social work degree at the University of Manitoba.

In 2020, when Hidalgo realized that pandemic restrictions were making life harder for Winnipeg’s most vulnerable communities, he founded CommUnity204 (community204.ca)—a social outreach group that provides a wide range of services, from hot meals and school supplies to relocation assistance. He also co-created the SABE Peace Walkers, a relationship-based de-escalation team that uses Indigenous cultural principles to help individuals in crisis in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village. “I thought, How can I do something to support the folks out here that are really struggling?” Hidalgo recalls.

Last year, with the help of more than 3,000 volunteers, CommUnity204 fed over 22,000 people, provided 317 new mattresses, helped 49 families move into new homes and held outreach sessions at 19 Winnipeg-area schools. And through the SABE Peace Walkers, Hidalgo and his team have also given much-needed support to many of Winnipeg’s most marginalized citizens. “I’ve experienced survival mode and I know first-hand how it feels to go through some of these deficits,” he says. “So, if I can carve a path for folks that are walking the same path as me, I will always do that.”

Nominate a Localer. Do you know someone who goes above and beyond to make the world a better place? We’d love to hear about them. Send nominations to drivenbygoodmb@caamanitoba.com and they could be our featured Localer in an upcoming issue.