Coming Together to Help Find Employment for Winnipeg’s Homeless



For immediate release September 21, 2017


The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and End Homelessness Winnipeg partner for the
6th annual CEO Sleepout

WINNIPEG, MB – On October 26, 2017, CEOs and community champions will gather with those with lived experience at a new location – under the York Street canopy of the RBC Convention Centre. They will be working towards their $1 million fundraising goal to create understanding, build relationships, and employ the homeless and those with lived experience for the 6th annual CEO Sleepout.

The $800,000 raised since the fundraiser’s inception has helped employ 137 people with lived experience – adding up to over 51,000 hours of employment. Many of those helped by the program have returned to school or have found full-time employment to create a greater impact on our community.

“People who are homeless are real – they are our neighbors,” said Louis Sorin, President and CEO of End Homelessness Winnipeg. “It is important to see their strengths and their gifts and to see people for whom they can be, not necessarily as they are today.”

This year, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ has partnered with End Homelessness Winnipeg to
increase the community impact of the CEO Sleepout and to raise awareness about
homelessness within our community.

The CEO Sleepout is about community champions coming together with those with lived experience to spend time together and create understanding. Those with lived experience will have meals provided to them, hair cuts and beard trims from students at MC College, and have their photo taken and printed for them to keep.

Another addition to this year’s event is a clothing drive. CEOs will be collecting clothing,
backpacks, travel mugs, and more to give to those with lived experience.

“The Downtown BIZ is pleased to partner this year with End Homelessness Winnipeg – the organization that the CEO Sleepout will be transferred to next year,” said Stefano Grande, CEO of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “Our collective goal this year is to hit our $1M in total funding raised since the inception of the initiative, allowing those people who are homeless or at the risk of being homeless to be employed by helping us beautify our downtown together, creating collective hope and inspiration for our community.”

Educating the business community about how they can help end homelessness through
supporting housing and employment through the CEO Sleepout is another step towards the 10-year plan to end homelessness led by the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council.

This year, the CEO Sleepout will be held in conjunction with the National Conference on Ending Homelessness, which runs from October 25-27 at the RBC Convention Centre.

The conference is set to bring in 1,000 delegates, policy makers, funders, researchers,
advocates, and community leaders from across the country to work towards finding solutions to ending homelessness in their respective communities.
To donate, please visit Full list of participating CEOs to follow.


About the CEO Sleepout
The CEO Sleepout, organized by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, recruits and mobilizes over 150 leaders from the private and public sectors to help bring attention and awareness to complex issues of homelessness in our city.

Since 2011, participants have raised over $800,000 to support social agencies working to
employ their patrons and provide them with quality-of-life supports and access to housing. The CEO Sleepout ignites a desire from the private and public sectors to work towards the creation of a long-term strategy to end homelessness in Winnipeg.
About the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ
Established in 1989 by the City of Winnipeg, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is the oldest of
Winnipeg’s 16 business improvement zones. Directed by a management board of 15 business owners/leaders and a representative from city hall, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ markets the city centre on behalf of 1,300 businesses and runs programs and provides services that target downtown image, cleanliness, safety, transportation, and parking.
About End Homelessness Winnipeg
Created by a task force in 2012, End Homelessness brings together all sectors of our
community to work with people who are experiencing homelessness. Through this partnership with Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, End Homelessness Winnipeg believes we can prevent homelessness, support recovery and well-being, find suitable housing, and measure our success in ways that impact and transform our community and sustain change through collective action and hope.