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Homes for Winnipeg’s Homeless

November 24, 2009 7:19 AM | News

By Sarah Klein

Homeless ManBoth Manitoba universities have teamed up to develop a survey to determine what housing supports work best for those most vulnerable.

The University of Winnipeg’s Institute of Urban Studies (IUS) and the University of Manitoba’s Departments of Psychiatry and Community Health Sciences form the core research team behind a $3.75 million grant provided by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. More then 500 homeless people living with a mental illness in Winnipeg will be recruited to take part in Canada’s largest-ever survey on the issue.

The Winnipeg At Home project is aimed at providing people with stable, long-term housing and supports, with particular attention to the Aboriginal population. About 70% of Winnipeg’s homeless are Aboriginal.

Other Canadian cities are also participating in the project, including Toronto, Moncton, Vancouver and Montreal.

The Winnipeg At Home Project will result in 300 people presently homeless being offered housing in neighbourhoods throughout Winnipeg. Those with highest needs will have access to 24 hour support.

The launch of the project comes on the same day the Manitoba government announced increased support and services that will help move hundreds of people struggling with homelessness into transitional or long-term housing. Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross said Monday, “We want to make every effort to reach out to the people who are on the street or in emergency shelters.”

$357,000 has been invested by the province to fund seven outreach mentors, who will work on behalf of homeless individuals, helping them to connect to supports that are available in Winnipeg, Thompson, The Pas and Brandon.

— With files from a news release