News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

September 17, 2020

PROVINCE INVESTS $1.5 MILLION TO SUPPORT HOMELESS SHELTERS AS PART OF COVID-19 RESPONSE



The Manitoba government is investing an additional $1.5 million to support the ongoing and expanded needs of homeless shelters serving some of the province’s most vulnerable people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Families Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.
 
“Our government continues to invest in supports for vulnerable Manitobans throughout this pandemic, and this investment will help ensure a safe space is available to people who need it, especially in the coming winter months,” said Stefanson. “We are pleased to continue our partnership with these important organizations, which have been providing safe, compassionate and much-needed supports and resources during this unprecedented time.” 
 
This new funding will help ensure shelters in Winnipeg can continue to meet the needs of clients over the winter while responding to the challenges caused by the pandemic. The funding includes:
$726,000 for the continued operation of an isolation space on Sargent Avenue provided by Manitoba Housing, for individuals who have or are suspected to have COVID-19;
$54,000 for a daytime drop-in program at Main Street Project (MSP) intended to support individuals who want to find more stable housing;
$228,114 for 50 overnight shelter beds at MSP;
$150,000 to continue to support 50 overnight shelter beds at Siloam Mission; and 
$360,000 for the ongoing operations of Salvation Army, which continues to experience pandemic-related financial challenges.
 
The new drop-in program has been developed by MSP based on its experiences with clients earlier in the pandemic response. It is intended to provide more meaningful, supportive conversations with clients to help them move toward more stable housing, addictions treatment or other community-based services.
 
“In such uncertain times, this funding will allow us to keep beds open in our new Buhler Centre shelter expansion and ensure safe nights for those who have nowhere else to go,” said Jim Bell, CEO, Siloam Mission. “We are so thankful to the Province of Manitoba for this additional investment and for caring for those in need.”
 
In June, the province announced a $5-million investment in Winnipeg’s Downtown Safety Partnership (DSP), which includes an extension of outreach in the downtown area to 24-7, new community service teams and a 24-7 Downtown Safety Communications Centre. In the coming months, the province will add new accountability measures to all of the homeless shelter Service Purchase Agreements to ensure collaboration with the DSP.
 
“Our government is committed to making downtown Winnipeg safer and our homeless shelters are a big part of that,” said Stefanson. “Greater collaboration with the Downtown Safety Partnership will help ensure that at-risk people get the supports they need while protecting all Manitobans from crime in the downtown.”
 
The minister noted today’s investment builds on funding that was announced in April to help homeless shelters respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to today’s announcement, more than $1.9 million has been allocated to MSP, Siloam Mission, Salvation Army, Resource Assistance for Youth and Samaritan House in Brandon to support individuals experiencing homelessness. 
 
For more information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19
 
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