The government of Manitoba has set its eyes on tackling the issue of homelessness.
In greenlighting the spending of millions of dollars, the province outlined five initiatives where it hopes it can modernize its emergency response and shelter system and provide more supportive, affordable housing.
The move includes the use of a $25-million funding plan, which Families Minister Rochelle Squires hopes will prevent and end homelessness. She noted at a press conference on July 18 that initiatives like this reduce barriers to accessing shelters, increase co-ordination within provincial departments and improve co-operation among all levels of governments and community organizations.
“Access to affordable housing, along with the appropriate supports to maintain tenancy, is critical for individuals to successfully exit homelessness,” said Squires.
Of the targeted initiatives:
- $2.6 million will help select shelters operate and become 24/7 service hubs, which Squires noted would enable them to foster a “more person-centred approach.”
- Nearly $3.4 million will go toward developing 400 new community-based social housing units through rent supplement agreements.
- $5.8 million will go toward expanding already existing supports and developing new Housing First teams, consisting of front-line support workers that would provide a range of basic services for tenants.
- $13.1 million will supplement negotiated requests for proposals “targeting the development of 212 units through new construction, acquisition, and/or renovation.”
- $835,000 will be used to supplement interest-free loans to 13 non-profit and co-operative organizations.
Siloam Mission’s CEO, Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud, said funding supports like this help the organization continue “the important work of helping people find the hosuing they deserve, so they can thrive.”