Siloam Mission has released a housing strategy to help end chronic homelessness in Winnipeg.

"In Winnipeg, there is a significant barrier," said Siloam Mission CEO Tessa Blakie Whitecloud. "For every twenty people in need, we only have three social housing units. That's a third of other major cities in the prairies."

That's why Siloam says they've committed to building 700 housing units over the next ten years.

To do this, they say they will need great partners. One potential partner ready to get involved is True North Sports and Entertainment.

"When you work downtown every day, it just doesn't go unnoticed and it can't and it shouldn't," said True North Sports and Entertainment Executive Chairman and Governor Mark Chipman. "This is a crisis that is not going to go away unless we collectively agree to embrace it, and the only way you can really effect any meaningful changes is by collaborating with people that have more informed and similar passions than you."

The next step is to conduct research, consulting with people experiencing homelessness and partners.

"We're not talking about a pie in the sky that is unattainable," said Tessa. "Other cities have gone from a level of homelessness like Winnipeg's to basically homelessness net zero, which means, people may still come into shelters, but they move out into adequate housing within 90 days."

"We can do this by building a strategy in Winnipeg that builds the right housing for folks so that homelessness is temporary, and housing is quick and easy to access."

Tessa says a lot of community consultation has gone into the planning. However, there is still plenty more to do.

"We need to listen to the people who are going to live in this housing to build the right housing. We also need to listen to our partners in the sector, our board and our staff on what the challenges are for specific populations."

Chipman says the Sheltering the Spirit Strategy just makes sense.

"It gives True North Sports and Entertainment the confidence to work alongside Tessa and the board at Siloam Mission," said Chipman. "I think we see this problem through the same lens but what really gives me hope is the coming together of people to tackle this once and for all."

"I think we can have a Winnipeg without chronic homelessness," said Tessa. "That's the vision of Siloam."