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Manitoba Métis Federation opens new traditional housing centre

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The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) has opened a new housing facility aiming to give those struggling with homelessness a hand-up.

The MMF officially a 20-unit transitional housing space located at 670 Main Street on Monday.

The facility, named Fre Maachi meaning 'fresh beginnings' in Michif, features four two-bedroom suites and 16 studio apartments.

It will work as an access point to provide addiction and mental health care, and will allow residents to access employment, training and cultural programming. The units are fully furnished, and the facility has access to computers.

“We want them to avoid returning to homelessness. We want to include employment abilities. We want a personal well-being,” said Will Goodon, Minister of Housing and Property Management with the MMF.

Goodon added that one of the goals is to provide a hand-up to people who are in need of assistance, and help build them back up.

“That self-esteem, that idea that I’m worthy is so important to be able to succeed in life,” he said. “If you don’t have that, then you’re just going to provide pain for yourself and pain for your family, and that’s not what we want to do.”

The housing development is part of the federal government’s $12.7 million rapid housing initiative, and received $3.4 million from the City of Winnipeg.

Goodon said while Fre Maachi is a good step, he wants to do more to help dealing with homelessness among Metis citizens.

“Winnipeg has a very obvious need when we drive around and look around our city and see those in unsheltered situations or at risk of it,” he said.

More information about Fre Maachi can be found by calling 204-589-1613.

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