By Sarah Klein
The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ has landed $120,000 to support its community homeless assistance team (CHAT).
The investment from Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries will grow the team’s staff from 3 to 5, while furthering the work to curb homelessness and/or mental health and addiction issues in Winnipeg.
“The unfortunate reality of homelessness often presents a negative perception of downtown from a health and safety perspective,” said Stefano Grande, executive director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.
“With CHAT, the conditions of those living on the streets are thoroughly addressed and can be overcome which can lead to a socially inclusive, economically prosperous city. When basic needs are met, people can become productive agents for change in their own lives and in the city, improving theirs and others’ health and safety.”
The goal is to ultimately elevate the CHAT size to 8.
The funding will also increase current case management from 120 to 220 clients, adding to grow on the 67 homeless individuals the team has found housing for since 2012.