Siloam Mission

Floyd Perras, Siloam's executive director, said there is a greater need for shelter than there is supply right now in Winnipeg. (Google Street View)

​Siloam Mission announced a $30.5-million expansion plan it says will "alter the landscape of Winnipeg’s inner city."

The downtown Winnipeg homeless shelter and soup kitchen held a breakfast at the Convention Centre on Tuesday, outlining its plans before more than 300 community leaders from the business, nonprofit, academic, hospital, and government sectors.

Part of the expansion includes adding 160 housing units at its Princess Street location, where the shelter has been slowly buying up land for years — including 288 Princess Street and 303 Stanley Street, along with their parking lots — in order to spread out.

The housing units would have their rents based on a person's income.

“Our supportive housing community, The Madison, in Wolesley, has been such an incredible success,” said Floyd PerrasSiloam's executive director.

“We have provided homes for 85 people who had experienced homelessness in our city but the need is greater than the supply. We already have a long waiting list for The Madison. People need a place to live now. It’s time to move forward.”

In addition to the added housing, the expansion plans include:

  • Tripling the size of Siloam's dining room.
  • Increase the standing room to eliminate the need for people to line up outside the building.
  • A larger kitchen to accommodate more volunteers.
  • Additional coolers and freezer space to store donated food.
  • Enhanced shipping area with a loading dock allowing for semis.
  • A separate, women-only shelter area
  • Addition of day beds for those who are sick and require bed rest and observation.
  • Shower and barber facilities.

Siloam is currently working on preliminary designs for the expansion and trying to raise money.

"Certainly, with a $30.5-million build we need help from government, we need help from the business community, help from our donors," said Perras.

"We anticipate having to raise $12 million to $15 million from the community."

He hopes to have funding answers from the government before summer, so the shelter knows better how much it needs to raise on its own.

"We're hoping, with our fingers crossed, that we can put our foundation in this fall. But if not, next spring," Perras said, adding the plan is to keep Siloam open as much as possible during the construction process.