WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government is providing additional funding to increase shelter capacity in Winnipeg to help with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Brian Pallister announced Friday morning the province will invest $1.2 million to add bed space and repurpose buildings into new homeless shelters.

“While many of us have the capacity to shelter at home, some of us do not,” Pallister said. “Our government is putting measures in place through our Manitoba Protection Plan to ensure people who don’t have a stable home do have a place to stay safe and healthy as we respond to COVID-19 together.”

The funding comes from the Manitoba Pandemic Plan.

The current plan to increase shelter space includes: 

• Repurpose a vacant Manitoba Housing building on Sargent Avenue to create 31 new beds;

• Add 35 beds provided by the Salvation Army at its Martha Street location;

• Expand Siloam Mission’s capacity by 50 beds; and

• Move individuals currently using the Salvation Army’s SonRise Village to alternate locations, making its 26 beds available for new clients.

The province is also currently looking at options for homeless and vulnerable populations outside of Winnipeg, the premier said in a news release.