February 12, 2018 5:23 pm
Updated: February 13, 2018 9:50 am

Winnipeg downtown shelter breaks ground on new space to meet growing demand

WATCH: Siloam Mission's capital campaign chair Garth Manness said Winnipeg's weather of late is a prime example of why more space is needed in the city.

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Siloam Mission broke ground on a major expansion of their facility in the heart of Winnipeg Monday.

Local dignitaries including Mayor Brian Bowman, Deputy Premier Heather Stefanson and donors Bonnie and John Buhler joined Siloam Mission CEO Jim Bell and Siloam’s capital campaign chair Garth Manness at 300 Princess Street to officially kick off the expansion.

“Isn’t this weather a call to action,” Manness said as the ceremony began.

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Stefanson said the province of Manitoba has donated $2 million to the project, with another $1 million to be given through federal-provincial investments in affordable housing agreements. She said Siloam Mission provides a critical service to the city of Winnipeg.

“They have always been there for our community’s most vulnerable. We believe that everyone deserves a safe place to stay,” Stefanson said.

The $19 million campaign dubbed ‘Make Room in your Heart’ will give the shelter more beds and space to offer increased health services for people in Winnipeg who are experiencing homelessness.

RELATED: New funding set to address spread of homelessness in Winnipeg

Winnipeg Centre MP Robert Faclon Ouellette could not attend the event but said in a statement read by Manness, the federal government’s planned national housing strategy won’t solve every housing problem in every community, leaving places like Siloam Mission essential.

“This expansion project is going to add much needed shelter capacity and program space,” Ouellette said.

More than 70 per cent of funds for the 54,300 square foot building have already been committed. The mission has invited Manitobans to contribute, to make up the remainder of funds needed.

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