Hundreds using emergency shelters leaves advocates calling for more housing solutions

Winnipeg shelters are seeing high demand as temperatures dip, leaving advocates calling for housing solutions to help with the issue.

Homes for Heroes Foundation is building a village of tiny homes in Transcona for veterans experiencing homelessness.

Since announcing the initiative in May, it said demand for housing has only grown.

“Rent increases and the demands on housing have never been more evident than they are now,” said David Howard, the foundation’s CEO and founder.

Siloam Mission is also a witness to the issue.

The organization said its 142 shelter beds are nearly full every night.

“The goal is never to have the emergency shelter be the solution for somebody or for it to be the long-term place to stay. That’s why we call it an emergency shelter,” said Luke Thiessen, communications manager at Siloam Mission

Theissen said while some people might only need an affordable place to live to get off the streets, many need extra resources.

“But for others, they need supportive housing. They need housing where they can bring in homecare or other supports they may need,” explained Theissen.

He said more places like Siloam Mission’s Madison House, a supportive housing facility with room for around 80, are needed in Winnipeg.

A call echoed by Main Street Project.

“I think it is around 600-700 people living in shelters any given night, so until we are building 600-700 transitional housing units, we aren’t going to see a change in that number,” said Jamil Mahmood, Main Street Project’s executive director.

Even as non-profits like Homes for Heroes work toward addressing the issue, it’s not always an easy task.

Home for Heroes Foundation said it took three years of planning to get the project started and is still facing the occasional paperwork challenge.

“It is frustrating,” said Howard. “Our goal here is to help those who are on the street and our veterans who served our country. We want to do that as soon as possible.”

Mayor Scott Gillingham told CTV News the city needs more housing of all sorts, especially affordable housing and safe accommodation for homeless people.

“I want to learn from innovative housing models used in other cities, like the modular units being built in Toronto, Vancouver and Surrey,” he said in an email.

Gillingham said a motion coming later this week will start the process of identifying and pre-approving six city-owned sites for modular unit developments.

View original article here Source