A Capital Campaign for Shelter Re-Development
Just a quick walk in and around Main Street Project’s current facilities will reveal a marked need for a new, expanded, state-of-the-art low barrier shelter for downtown Winnipeg. On a daily basis, we hear about and see first-hand the impacts of increased meth use and public intoxication in Winnipeg. The collective outcry for a new shelter space incorporating Main Street Project’s people-centered model, working with those who are experiencing mental health and addictions related issues has never been stronger. From the Federal Government to community resident associations and individuals are touched by these issues, the support for such a facility has grown exponentially.
Contribute to the Campaign
In 2016, Main Street Project’s Board and Management team undertook the development of a five year Strategic Plan. Part of that plan was to establish clear goals and objectives for the agency, circling back to MSP’s vision: providing a safe place for everyone to be and their right to self-determination.
In our current Emergency Shelter facility, this goal has become increasingly difficult to fulfill. Every night we provide shelter for 85 people in 2100 square feet of space divided into two zones. Those individuals are on the floor sleeping on mats. Along with sharing tight quarters, they have access to just one shower, two wash sinks and three toilets.
Shelter & Drop In Numbers
clients per night on mats
Up to 20 redirects
clients on mats during the day
clients access drop in every day
With all of these numbers and evidence in mind, we are proud to unveil our campaign geared to creating a new shelter space and a sustainable future for MSP and our programming. The basis of “It’s Time” is a new and redeveloped shelter space to be located in the Mitchell Fabrics Building.
This space is 36,000 square feet in size and will accommodate up to 150 beds located in designated areas that promote safety and reflect different levels of acuity. Instead of a mat on the floor, clients will have access to a semi-private or private sleep pod. There will be increased access to bath and/or shower facilities, laundry facilities, brightly lit common areas and storage areas which can be secured for safekeeping of clothes and personal possessions.
The role of the new shelter is to accommodate those who face housing barriers every day, including individuals and families at-risk of or experiencing homelessness, Indigenous peoples who have experienced direct or inter-generational trauma from residential schools, people with disabilities, women in the sex trade, women who are victims of domestic violence, young adults aging out of the child welfare system, seniors, veterans and newcomers to Canada. Included as well will be access to transitional housing and related supports.
In addition, the Main Street Project Shelter will provide short term housing support to families from northern communities seeking healthcare and other supports within the urban Winnipeg Centre.
The non-residential space will provide food services and a 24-hour cafeteria, as well as gathering and meeting spaces. The facility will also house an Indigenous healing circle space and smudging area. We envision unique family suites to allow family reconciliation. Additionally, the common area will include an art/activity centre. The mezzanine portion of space will house primary care treatment rooms, counselling rooms and quiet spaces as well as some administrative office space.
Message from the Chair
I am very pleased to introduce myself and the rest of the Main Street Project Capital Campaign to you. First, though, a word about that campaign.
The Main Street Project Capital Campaign was established this year to raise funds for the acquisition and redevelopment of the Mitchell Fabrics Building. It is a very worthwhile and timely project. Those of you who have visited the Main Street Project’s current facility will know that it is stretched well beyond its limits. The additional space will be welcome. Better still, that space will be designed to meet the needs of Main Street Project’s clients far more effectively and efficiently than the current premises permit. The work that the Main Street Project does seems to me to be a humane, kind and decent response to some of life’s most difficult issues: poverty, homelessness, addiction and mental health. I don’t think anyone would quarrel with the notion that giving it a bigger and better space to do that work is a good thing.
Winnipeg has a wonderful tradition of volunteerism. That tradition has made a strong impression on me. I’ve been lucky to cross paths with many people in our city who have taught me that the way to make your community a better place is simple: get involved with your neighbours and work together to make it a better place. So, over those 30 years I’ve followed their example, and donated some of my own time and effort to various community endeavours.
It was in that spirit that I volunteered to join the Main Street Project Capital Campaign. I’m a lawyer, and I’ve been practising law at Portage and Main for almost 30 years. Downtown Winnipeg is my neighbourhood, and the Main Street Project, its staff and clients are my neighbours. When I learned about Main Street Project’s plans for the Mitchell Fabrics Building, I thought it was a terrific idea to improve life for a lot of my downtown neighbours who could really use the help. I called up to find out if I could contribute in some way. Happily for me, the answer was yes, and so began my term as Chair of the Main Street Project’s Capital Campaign.
I’m excited that the Capital Campaign Committee comprises a group of committed, thoughtful and community-minded volunteers. You will see their names listed on this page. They represent a broad spectrum of this city’s people, and I am grateful for their enthusiastic support.
I look forward to the successful completion of the Main Street Project’s Capital Campaign.
Ted Bock, Main Street Project Capital Campaign Chair
Capital Campaign Committee
Rick Lees, Executive Director
Questions about how you can support It’s Time, Winnipeg?
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