New space in Millennium Library connecting Winnipeggers with social supports

It’s being described a space that will give hope to those experiencing homelessness.

That’s how homeless advocate Al Wiebe describes the new Community Connections space, which opened Monday at the Millennium Library.

“What this place will do is give hope for people who are experiencing homelessness. It will give hope for them to tend their homeless life,” said Wiebe.

The space is designed to be a welcoming space for visitors who may face challenges using the larger library space on their own, or for those who require additional services not offered in the library.

It will be staffed by Winnipeg Public Library employees and community crisis workers who will offer information for a range of services including shelter and housing, social assistance, mental health and addiction services, and food security.

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Other public amenities will include a kitchen area with light snacks for people in need, a phone, a computer with WiFi, and a washroom.

“It’s going to be a wonderful place and it is going to save lives, isn’t that the most important thing?” Wiebe said.

Community activist Michael Redhead Champagne says it was important to design a program that creates safety in public spaces.

“I hope this can provide support and safety for all of our relatives that need to find connection, that need to find community,” Redhead Champagne said.

“And when they come into this library, when they come into this space, we know now they’ll be able to find both of those things. Community and connections.”

The federal government is funding $177,000 of the $236,000 project.

The space will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 1-4 p.m. and closed Saturday and Sunday.

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