John Howard Society of Brandon receives $4 million investment in support of transformative housing project

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The Province of Manitoba has announced a groundbreaking $4 million investment in support of the John Howard Society of Brandon’s transformative housing project.

“The 24-unit transitional housing facility will provide a bridge to permanent housing, offering the necessary time and support needed to rebuild lives,” remarks Ross Robinson, Executive Director of John Howard Society of Brandon. “This crucial investment marks a pivotal turning point in our community as we address the pressing issue of homelessness and endeavour to provide essential support and resources to individuals transitioning out of correctional facilities or facing housing challenges.”

Transitional housing plays a vital role in addressing the complex needs of individuals involved in the justice system, ensuring their successful reintegration into society. Antoinette Gravel-Oulette from Brandon and Area Overdose Awareness emphasizes the significance of this initiative. “The transitional house fills a much-needed gap in Brandon. John Howard Society has partnered with and sought community input from many different agencies. There is a large number of people that have left correctional institutions and within two weeks, have died due to toxic drugs. This project will save lives, which is what we all want to achieve.”

Allison C. who has experienced the positive impact of transitional housing firsthand, shares her story: “ I entered transitional housing after losing my job and apartment due to illness. It connected me to support services like employment, education training, and health services. I was able to take time to recover and go back to school. I now work full-time in health care, supporting myself and giving back to my community. Transitional housing changed my life!”

This crucial project not only provides shelter but also offers comprehensive support services, empowering individuals to rebuild their lives and contribute positively to the community. Megan McKenzie, Research and Project Development Coordinator at Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation, highlights the project’s importance in addressing chronic homelessness and supporting vulnerable populations, especially Indigenous individuals impacted by historical trauma and systemic racism. Megan shares,“The transitional housing project will provide a safe place for our unhoused community members to stabilize and receive the support they need before moving out into their own homes.”

With the Province’s $4 million contribution, combined with the previous $5 million federal support, the project now stands at a total funding of $9 million. Ross Robinson, Executive Director expresses gratitude for the Province’s visionary support and commitment. Ross shares, “We extend our deepest gratitude to the Province of Manitoba for their generous investment, bringing us closer to our goal of providing a comprehensive solution to homelessness in our community.”

Despite this significant funding, there is still a need to secure an additional $1 million to fully realize the construction of the facility. To raise the remaining funds, John Howard Society will be hosting “Crossing the Line,” a hilarious evening featuring a comedy roast with Mayor Jeff Fawcett. This event promises to bring the community together while providing an opportunity for individuals and businesses to contribute to this essential cause. Learn more and show your support by visiting www.crossingtheline.ca