Over $100,000 was handed to three downtown-area groups on Monday to help combat homelessness in Winnipeg.
The Downtown BIZ handed over the funds, raised from the group’s annual CEO sleepout, which has top execs sleep on the street overnight to raise money and awareness for homelessness.
"We need the voice of our CEOs to say, ‘Hey. Addictions, mental health can affect anyone,'" said Downtown BIZ executive director Stefano Grande.
Siloam Mission, the Graffiti Gallery and Red Road Lodge will all share the cash and use it for employment programs. Red Road Lodge offers housing and employment to Winnipeg’s homeless.
"Just by being here and being a stable presence in this area is important," said Leo Sourisseau, who works at Red Road Lodge.
"It’s nice we got the funding to keep doing that."
Sourisseau lives at Red Road Lodge and works the front desk at the lodge four days a week, but two years ago, he was homeless.
He doesn’t drink or do drugs so the lodge, which is a dry facility, was a good fit for him.
After he moved into the facility, he was offered a job.
In 2012, the lodge was able to employ 10 people with funding it received. This year, it will be able to employ 30 with the funds donated by the Downtown BIZ.
The funding comes as part of a wider strategy by the Downtown BIZ to combat homelessness.
"We know what the solutions are — housing, employment. Let’s all get behind [that] and progress forward for the social change we need in our city," said Grande.