Shelters in Winnipeg are receiving a boost from the province to serve the city's vulnerable population during the pandemic.
As part of the $1.5 million in supports, the funding will be used to both support ongoing operations, as well as expand shelter capabilities.
“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,” Families Minister Heather Stefanson Stefanson says.
The province says that the $1.5 million designations will be going to organizations in Winnipeg, with Manitoba Housing to receive the largest chunk of the funds.
On Sargent Avenue, Manitoba Housing has created an isolation space. This space is to province shelter for people who have or are suspected to have, COVID-19. A total of $726,000 is being directed towards the operational costs.
One of the recipients is the Salvation Army, whom the province says is struggling financially in the pandemic. The $360,000 dedication is bring directed for ongoing operations.
Siloam Mission's 50 overnight shelter beds will receive $150,000 in support.
“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,” Jim Bell, CEO of Siloam Mission says. “We are so thankful to the Province of Manitoba for this additional investment and for caring for those in need.”
Main Street Project will receive a total of $282,114. $228,114 is for 50 overnight shelter beds and $54,000 for a daytime drop-in program to help people find stable housing.
“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.”
The province says the drop-in program was created by Main Street Project after seeing a need during the pandemic to create a "more meaningful, supportive conversations with clients." The organization will use the service to connect clients with stable housing, additions treatments, and other community services.
“Our government is committed to making downtown Winnipeg safer and our homeless shelters are a big part of that,” Stefanson says.
Addiotanlly, the minister says the province will be adding new accountability measures to all of the homeless shelter Service Purchase Agreements. This will include a collaboration with the Downtown Safety Partnership.
“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.”
In June, The province dedicated $5 million towards Winnipeg’s Downtown Safety Partnership (DSP). They say this included an extension of outreach in the downtown area to 24-7, new community service teams and a 24-7 Downtown Safety Communications Centre.