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Manitoba investing $1.5M in warming space with 150 beds

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WINNIPEG -

The Manitoba government is giving $1.5 million to End Homelessness Winnipeg to create a warming space with 150 beds to help Winnipeg’s most vulnerable in the winter.

Premier Heather Stefanson and Families Minister Rochelle Squires made the announcement at a news conference on Friday, noting a coalition of Indigenous organizations will guide the new warming space.

This new resource was given the name ‘N’Dinawemak—Our Relatives’ by Elder Wally Swain.

“We have heard from many people in the homeless serving sector who have told us there was a need for a low-barrier, Indigenous-led support for people needing respite from the cold,” Squires said.

Beginning on Friday, N’Dinawemak – Our Relatives will provide a community care camp, led by OPK, Anishiative, and CommUNITY.204 working together under the name Saabe Peacewalkers. Two tipis and supervised fires will be operating 24/7 throughout the winter as a warming space.

The site for the new overnight beds will be at the property located at 190 Disraeli Freeway. Work is expected to be completed on this space by Dec. 1.

The coalition of Indigenous organizations, End Homelessness Winnipeg, the City of Winnipeg, and the Government of Manitoba will work together to provide support for people experiencing homelessness this winter.

“For many of us, the snow and colder weather we’re experiencing is simply an inconvenience, but for many Manitobans, the snow and colder weather presents a far more serious threat,” the premier said.

End Homelessness Winnipeg’s street census point-in-time counts in 2015, 2018 and 2021 found that about two-thirds of those experiencing homelessness in Winnipeg are Indigenous.

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