The City of Winnipeg could help fund an extreme weather shelter by shuffling money between disaster assistance, road renewal and grants.
A public service report calls for city council to apply for $650,000 of provincial disaster prevention funding, to put toward the $1.85-million renewal for Palmerston Avenue, between Lenore and Ethelbert streets.
That would replace $650,000 of local street renewal funds, which could be given instead to End Homelessness Winnipeg to support the recently opened Disraeli Freeway warming space and shelter, the report suggests.
A city spokesperson said the municipal government has been asked to cover some of the capital costs for the N’Dinawemak — Our Relatives’ Place shelter.
"The proposed city contribution is intended to cover a significant portion of the capital costs required to make the necessary improvements to the building. Some improvements have already been made, while other necessary improvements and renovations are ongoing," said Kalen Qually, in an emailed statement.
City staff say disaster funds should be available for the Palmerston renewal.
"As the street renewal is to be completed on the primary dike (system that protects Winnipeg), this construction project will strengthen the city’s resiliency to a flood disaster," the public service report notes.
The change would require a two-thirds vote of support at city council, since it would use local street funds for an alternative purpose. Provincial approval would also be needed to claim the disaster funding.
The Manitoba government recently said it would give $1.5 million to support the $2.9-million Disraeli shelter, which also received donations and other grants.
It opened this month as a warming space and has up to 150 new overnight beds.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.