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Main Street Project expanding; will include 24-hour warming centre

Main Street Project is undergoing a massive expansion which could cost up to 10 million dollars.
Main Street Project is undergoing a massive expansion which could cost up to 10 million dollars. Randall Paull / Global News

Main Street Project is set to undergo an expansion which could cost up to around $10 million.

The shelter has bought the Mitchell Fabrics building on Main Street at Logan Avenue and will move in on Oct. 1. Construction is expected to take around 8-10 months and the new building should be fully ready by fall 2019.

The Mitchell Fabrics building on Main Street will become part of a Main Street Project shelter expansion.
The Mitchell Fabrics building on Main Street will become part of a Main Street Project shelter expansion. Kevin Hirschfield / Global News

The new space will increase the capacity the shelter holds from 85 people to 150 people, will include beds and not mats as well as many more options.

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“A 24-hour cafeteria, zones for women, men, LBGT and trans folks, zones for people with children, so it just opens up all those capabilities we don’t have today,” Main Street Project executive director Rick Lees said.

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The current Main Street location on Martha Street will remain open during the construction.

The shelter does plan to open a 24-hour warming centre in the building during construction this winter, and has applied to the city for a grant to do so.

The warming centre will remain part of the new building once construction is complete.

Winnipeg anti-homelessness advocate Nancy Chippendale said it is long overdue.

“It gives people a sense of assurance that if they have no other place to go in the city, that is the one place they can rely on for all people,” Chippendale said.

“You can feel good in the winter, you can feel comforted, feel taken care of and you can warm up.”

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Lees said the new project will be receiving some funding under the federal government’s National Co-Housing Investment Fund, which provides support for housing and homeless.

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READ MORE: New funding set to address spread of homelessness in Winnipeg

They have also asked for funding from the province and city.

Lees said the project will cost anywhere from $6.5-$9.5 million.

Once construction is complete on the new building, the Martha Street location will remain open as an addiction treatment and detox centre.

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Main Street Project expanding; will include 24-hour warming centre
Main Street Project expanding; will include 24-hour warming centre