September 28, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
50 CEOs SLEPT OUT DOWNTOWN AND RAISED $111,595 FOR HOMELESS EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS
Downtown Winnipeg – Over 50 Winnipeg CEOs and community leaders spent last night at Portage & Main to raise awareness about homelessness and poverty issues in our city – and together, they helped raised $111,595 to employ our city’s homeless. Donations will continue to be accepted to reach the initial goal of $150,000.
“This is just the start of real change happening in our city,” said Marilyn McLaren, President and CEO of Manitoba Public Insurance, one of the participants at last night’s event and who helped fundraise over $18,000 to support the cause. “People from all walks of life need to work together to help address homelessness and create solutions. I’m pleased to have lent my voice to help support homeless employment programs, and am overwhelmed by the generosity of staff at MPI who have demonstrated their commitment to the community.”
It was all part of Winnipeg’s 2nd annual CEO Sleepout, an event that supports Change for the Better, a program that helps people who are homeless get off the street into permanent paid employment and a healthier environment.
“We’re seeing the beginnings of an awakening from both the private and public sectors in wanting to create long-term solutions to homelessness,” said Stefano Grande, Executive Director of the Downtown BIZ, who also slept out last night. “With the help of the community, we raised significant funds that will go directly to creating opportunities and employment, encouraged positive discussion, and heightened our public awareness about homelessness. We all have a role to play.”
Since 1992, over $235,000 has been raised and 100% of all donations support programs like Siloam Mission’s Mission: Off the Streets Team (MOST) that employs people who are homeless to help enhance the image and cleanliness of our downtown while building life skills that may help participants get a full time job. Siloam Mission, Graffiti Art Programming, and Red Road Lodge received proceeds from last year’s CEO Sleepout event, empowering the people in our city who do not have housing with meaningful work experience, skills and confidence.
Donations will continue to be accepted for Change for the Better:
1. Online at www.changeforthebetter.org
2. Cheque or money order made out to “Downtown BIZ – Change for the Better” (Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, 426 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 0C9)
3. Collection boxes at participating venues downtown
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For more information, please contact:
Jason Syvixay, Public Relations Coordinator
Tel: (204) 958-4635; Cell: 997-3040