The City of Winnipeg has partnered with End Homelessness Winnipeg to make sure people experiencing homelessness are not left out in the cold this winter.
On Wednesday, the city announced funding to support expanded pop-up shelter capacity.
The new space will be housed at Siloam Mission, with staffing from Siloam Mission, 1JustCity, Main Street Project, and Sunshine House.
“We need to get people out of bus shelters and connect them with appropriate supports,” said Mayor Scott Gillingham. “This funding will help ensure everyone in Winnipeg has a safe, warm place to go during extreme weather periods, delivering on our shared commitment to build a stronger city where every individual is valued, supported, and protected.”
A decision to open the pop-up shelter will be made three days in advance, and will depend on three factors to ensure staff and scheduling are ready, including the overnight temperatures feeling like minus-10 degrees Celsius or colder, all emergency shelters consistently being full and a minimum of four staff being present.
The extra shelter space will be open from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. and will offer those experiencing homelessness a place to warm up, have coffee and take part in activities such as games and art kits. It will also offer a safe space for those who need it to sleep or stay awake.
“We’re excited to be hosting this important initiative made possible thanks to collaboration in our sector to make sure that there’s a space for everyone as these months get colder,” said Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud, CEO at Siloam Mission. “This short-term solution is needed this winter, but I hope in future winters we’ll have seen the investment and construction of housing units so that it is not needed.”
A total of 265 thousand dollars in funding was contributed towards this project, with the City of Winnipeg giving $200,000 as part of $1 million approved by Council in the 2023 Budget to expand 24/7 Safe Space partnerships.
End Homelessness Winnipeg contributed $65,000.