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Siloam Mission plans addition

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Some of Winnipeg's "street" people line up outside Siloam Mission Monday evening. April 28, 2014 - (Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press)

Siloam Mission will announce a $30.5-million expansion campaign this morning that will almost triple its ability to house homeless people.

It will also double the mission's ability to serve meals.

"This will be a huge campaign," Siloam communications co-ordinator Donna-Lynn Baskin said Monday.

The mission has 65 supportive housing units and plans to add 160 more.

Siloam has acquired three adjoining properties on Princess and Stanley streets, including an old warehouse and a former sewing machine factory, for the four-storey addition.

Details will be unveiled at a breakfast event expected to draw 300 community leaders from the business, non-profit, academic, hospital and government sectors.

Executive director Floyd Perras said Monday Siloam hopes the three levels of government will cover at least half the cost through grants. "We're anticipating that after the governments get involved, we'll have to raise $12 million to $15 million," he said.

Perras said he hopes Siloam will raise enough money to get a mortgage and begin construction on the two-year project this fall.

"We have about 28,000 active donors," said Perras, who would not say whether any of them with especially deep pockets might be ready to step forward. The mission would definitely sell naming rights to a major donor, he said.

"Our supportive housing community, The Madison, in Wolesley, has been such an incredible success," said Perras.

"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."

The expansion would increase daily meal capacity to 400 people from 130, he said.

"The task force to end homelessness has asked for 300 units over three years. We can provide half that -- no doubt there's a need," Perras said.

"We believe housing and jobs will stabilize Winnipeg's inner city, and in turn spur economic development. Revitalizing our core area through affordable housing and employment training is not only compassionate, it's also good for business," said Perras.

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 6, 2014 0

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Updated on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 8:44 AM CDT: Corrects typo

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