The Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corp. is putting a call out for applications to curb the homelessness problem in the city.
Under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, BNRC has nearly $1.3 million in funding designated for several areas identified as priorities, including emergency, transitional, and supportive housing and skill development.
"(The money) is primarily for infrastructure because it has to be sustainable," BNRC community entity co-ordinator Blaine Foley said. "In the past we have funded almost exclusively capital projects."
The Brandon Literacy Centre, YWCA Brandon, Canadian Mental Health Association, Brandon Friendship Centre and Westman Youth for Christ are some of the not-for-profit organizations that have benefited from the funding in the past — either for capital projects or skill training.
Foley said the Brandon Community Advisory Board has been able to take the $4.8 million in federal funds and leverage those dollars, through community and government partnerships, into an additional $9.2-million investment in Brandon.
BNRC also has up to $823,000 in funding to specifically combat aboriginal homelessness outside of Winnipeg. Priority will be given to rural and northern Manitoba to address the needs of off-reserve homelessness, but Foley said it is open to not-for-profit groups in Brandon.
"I hope that we get a lot of applications, because the more we get the better the chance that there will be high-quality, innovative projects that will help address the need," Foley said.
The need, Foley said, was defined in the Brandon Community Plan 2011-14, which states that "Brandon’s supply of housing has not kept pace with the city’s growth" and that "the limited supply of housing most acutely impacts individuals with lower incomes or who are unemployed."
"There is a very low vacancy rate in our community and this money isn’t for affordable housing it can compliment the solution to housing needs in Brandon," Foley said.
The deadline to submit applications is March 29.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 1, 2013