News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 4, 2022


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Investment Supports Ongoing Efforts to Make Communities Safe: Stefanson, Squires

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BRANDON—As part of the Manitoba government’s multi-faceted approach to improve public safety and the health and well-being of those most vulnerable, the province is providing more than $150,000 to Samaritan House’s Safe and Warm Shelter to operate an overflow warming space this winter to meet increased demand for emergency housing, Premier Heather Stefanson and Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced here today.

“Today’s announcement builds on our ongoing efforts to help make communities safe by addressing and preventing homelessness with new investments for community organizations that support our most vulnerable citizens,” said Stefanson. “We recognize there is an urgent need for additional support. We are listening and we are acting.”

Samaritan House provides emergency shelter services for people experiencing homelessness in Brandon, and provides bedding, food and toiletries. The new funding will enable Samaritan House to create a warming space where individuals can stay when the shelter is at capacity, ensuring that everyone has a safe place to spend the night, the premier said.

“Our government understands that as winter approaches, unhoused individuals in Manitoba face increased risk due to lack of appropriate shelter,” said Squires. “The funding announced today will ensure Samaritan House’s Safe and Warm Shelter in Brandon will not have to turn anyone away.”

Use of the shelter fluctuates seasonally, the minister said, with more people accessing services in fall and winter. In the last two years, the shelter served 200 individuals annually and averaged 30 people each night in fall and winter months. In the first nine months of 2022, the shelter served 400 individuals, with demand surging to 50 to 60 people per night, the minister noted.

“The Safe and Warm Shelter is at capacity most nights and with this funding we can work with others to provide the extra overflow needed to ensure there is a warm place for people to be when we have reached our limit,” said Barbara McNish, executive director, Samaritan House. “We are thankful for this funding so that we can offer a needed warming space and ensure that people in our community have a safe spot to escape the cold this winter.”

The funding builds on the $9-million investment in annual funding rates to shelters, transitional housing services and homeless outreach mentors announced earlier this week. Samaritan House funding will increase to $501,875 from $172,000. Additionally, the Community Health and Housing Association will benefit from an annual funding increase to $184,800 from $25,500. This investment will support the association’s existing half-time homeless outreach mentor and support the addition of two and a half new positions, for a total of three homeless outreach mentors in Brandon.

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