Manitoba

Winnipeg BIZ sends $205K from CEO Sleepout to 6 organizations

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ has sent the proceeds from 2014’s CEO Sleepout to six community organizations focussed on helping the city’s homeless — something the BIZ maintains translates to nearly $1 million in programming​.

Macdonald Youth Services, Red Road Lodge, Siloam Mission among recipients

The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ has sent the proceeds from 2014’s CEO Sleepout to six community organizations focused on helping the city’s homeless — something the BIZ maintains translates to nearly $1 million in programming​.

On Sept. 18 last fall, about 150 Winnipeg CEOs and others spent the night in the cold at the corner of Main Street and Portage Avenue for the fourth year in a row to raise awareness about the daily challenges faced by Winnipeg’s homeless.
Business leaders sleep out at the corner of Portage and Main in Winnipeg to raise awareness and money for homeless issues. (Abdoulaye Cissoko/CBC)

Participants raised $205,000, and on Thursday that money made its way to Artbeat Studio Inc. ($30,000), Graffiti Art Programming Inc. ($25,000), Macdonald Youth Services ($20,000), Red Road Lodge ($40,000), Siloam Mission ($45,000) and Union Gospel Mission ($45,000).

Fifty of Winnipeg`s homeless will be employed and about $1 million in programming will grow out of the $205,000 raised, the BIZ said.

While each organization has a different mandate — from helping those on the street find a home, to strengthening confidence and building work experience — they are all committed to solving the issue of homelessness in Winnipeg.  

“The downtown business community believes the future of our city and our downtown depends on whether or not we are ready and willing to tackle the issue of homelessness,” Stefano Grande, executive director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, said in a release Thursday.

“We can make a better city and a better downtown by simply helping people who are homeless in a progressive way: providing a home, helping them keep it and providing support in dealing with their challenges.”

In the program’s five years it has raised more than $600,000, which the BIZ said has led to the employment of 137 homeless people in the city.

The fifth annual CEO Sleepout takes place Sept 24.

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