The Manitoba government announced on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, that they will be spending $6.87 million to support community-wide approaches to prevent chronic homelessness.
The funding will go towards strengthening existing services, helping those experiencing homelessness, and providing support to prevent homelessness across Manitoba. $4.68 million will extend supports for youth transitioning out of care. The Manitoba government will also expand the eligibility criteria for the Supports for Young Adults Grant to provide more financial assistance and housing supports beyond the age 21. $1.3 million will support extending the Housing Supports Initiative until 2025.
“Addressing homelessness calls for a co-ordinated multi-faceted approach that includes community-led solutions to meet the needs of people who are precariously housed or experiencing homelessness,” said Families Minister Rochelle Squires.
The Manitoba government will launch an application process later this spring to create a Community Advisory Committee to support the implementation of its homelessness strategy
Additional funding to support the homelessness strategy includes:
- increasing the annual Bed Bug Grant Program to $400,000 from $200,000 to assist community agencies to support clients in dealing with pests and prevent homelessness due to infestation;
- $100,000 to expand and better integrate the homeless individuals and families information system database to reduce barriers for people who experience homelessness that move between communities in Manitoba;
- $100,000 to develop an advertising campaign to address the stigma of homelessness and reduce the discrimination individuals experience in trying to access goods and services across Manitoba communities;
- $330,000 increase in annual funding to Samaritan House to operate its Safe & Warm shelter in Brandon; and
- expanding the Homeless Outreach Mentor Program by increasing the annual funding to the Community Health and Housing Association Westman Region Inc. in Brandon to $185,000 from $25,000.
As part of its homelessness strategy, the Manitoba government will also invest more than $126 million to fund up to 700 new social housing units this year and introduce new wrap-around services to help those experiencing homelessness.