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Manitoba Invests $5.7 Million to Tackle Winter Homelessness

December 15, 2023 4:42 PM | News

Bernadette Smith

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew looks on as Bernadette Smith, Minister of Housing, Addictions and Homelessness and Minister responsible for Mental Health is sworn in by Lt. Gov. Anita Neville at a swearing-in ceremony in Winnipeg, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

The Manitoba government says it’s taking action against homelessness this winter with a $5.7 million investment.

Housing, Addictions and Homelessness Minister Bernadette Smith unveiled the plan Friday, allocating over $2.8 million for supportive housing in 250 rental units in Winnipeg, Brandon, Swan River and Portage la Prairie

The initiative, the largest provincial investment for winter homelessness to date, addresses immediate needs. A second phase, slated for 2024, will focus on additional support for women and LGBTQ2SIA+ individuals. Minister Smith emphasized the collaborative effort involving Indigenous organizations, homeless services, and women’s groups.

Jason Whitford, CEO of End Homelessness Winnipeg, applauded the commitment, stressing the urgency to prioritize support, especially for Indigenous women. The plan aligns with insights gathered in consultations with agencies, governments, and Indigenous groups in late 2023.

“Recent events underscore the urgency to prioritize support, especially for Indigenous women, highlighting the invaluable contribution of our diverse community-based organizations in meeting these challenges with co-ordinated care and compassion,” said Whitford.

The ultimate goal is to end chronic homelessness in Manitoba, with further housing initiatives planned in collaboration with government partners. The second phase details are expected in early 2024.