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Projects to end homelessness in Winnipeg
Oct 13, 2017

by Louis Sorin and Marie Cecile Kotyk

End Homelessness Winnipeg was established in 2015 through a community mandate to be the backbone organization in our community that will implement the 10-year plan to end homelessness in Winnipeg.

Using the Housing First Model as a cornerstone of the plan, we lead the change that is needed in our community in order to shift from “managing” homelessness to “ending” it. Through systems collaboration, alignment, and integration when necessary, we partner with community agencies, funders, private and public sectors to address the root causes of homelessness and prevent its occurrence.

End Homelessness Winnipeg focuses on the following priority areas:

1. Prevention: Preventing homelessness during difficult life changes and providing supports

2. Create a person-centred system of care: Create a range of services and supports focused on ending homelessness and meeting individual needs

3. Housing supply: Work with all levels of government, public and private sectors and the community to increase access and supply of affordable and social housing

4. Measurement: Gathering data and measuring progress

Key projects

End Homelessness Winnipeg is engaged in planning the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness’s conference, which is being held in Winnipeg from October 24 to 27 and will attract 1,100 experts, individuals with lived experience and organizations to our city.

We are getting closer and closer to the sixth annual CEO Sleepout scheduled for October 26.  This year’s event is special for several reasons:

• We hope to surpass the 1 million dollar mark as a community. The Sleepout is occurring during the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness Conference held October 25 to 27. The Sleepout is a partnership between Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and End Homelessness Winnipeg.

• All the funds raised will be re-invested into our community to create and support employment opportunities for individuals wanting to exit homelessness. We are currently reaching out to the network of leaders, community partners, and supporters of the CEO Sleepout to help us make this year’s event the best one yet. If you have not yet registered for the sleepout, connect with Tineke de Jong at tineke@downtownwinnipegbiz.com to register and be profiled on the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ website. 

We are working with the city of Winnipeg to explore land-use tools as incentives for the development of affordable and social housing.

End Homelessness Winnipeg analyzed information from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) rental market reports over various years (2006-2016) to understand trends in the private rental housing market and how these may affect the homeless and at-risk of being homeless population groups.

Through research and consultation with community members, we developed a Housing Models and Development Framework that details the development of priority housing models and outlines housing needs projections. It calls for partnerships that will create and issue requests for expression of interest (REOI) and requests for proposals (RFP) for development and property management of social and affordable housing for the homeless and at risk of being homeless population groups.

Working with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Social Planning Council, Manitoba Housing, and the West Central Women’s Centre, we are conducting a street health survey this year to determine the health status and care needs of people who experience homelessness in Winnipeg. The information gathered from this survey will assist in planning programming, and policy changes and improvements.

Lastly, we are pleased to announce that End Homelessness Winnipeg has received its charitable status. Our registration number is 81986 1964 RR0001.

End Homelessness Winnipeg is honoured to work with developers, property managers, investors, government, business and philanthropic entities, and our community to end homelessness in our city. Connect with us to discuss opportunities and ideas. We need you to make the changes we need in our city. Contact us at www.endhomelessnesswinnipeg.ca to learn more and join us in our efforts.

(Louis Sorin is the CEO and president, while Marie Cecile Kotyk is the manager of housing access at End Homelessness Winnipeg.)