‘Raising the Bar’ Homelessness Services Fair to Provide Healthcare, Haircuts, Hot Food, and More: Sept. 14


September 12, 2014



Downtown Winnipeg – Just a few days before the 4th annual CEO Sleepout, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ will host its inaugural Raising the Bar services fair for the homeless at the Aboriginal Centre of Winnipeg (181 Higgins Avenue) from 11-3PM. ‘Raising the Bar’ is a collaborative effort from social service agencies, business organizations, and volunteers in bringing together under one roof essential supports and services – such as housing, resume building, health care resources, legal aid, financial literacy, library cards, clothing, and haircuts. In addition, comfort kits including toiletries, socks, mitts, and thermal underwear, will be provided to guests.

Participating agencies:

  • Men’s Resource Centre
  • Y.E.S. Manitoba
  • Upbeat Artworks
  • WRHA Health Team
  • Legal Aid Manitoba
  • Winnipeg Public Library
  • Macdonald Youth Services
  • Bern’s & Black (Haircuts)
  • Siloam Mission
  • SEED Winnipeg
  • Agape Table
  • West Central Women’s Resource Centre
  • Lunches With Love

Sargent Blue Jeans will also set up a “Clothing Boutique” while local artist Kal Barteski will help facilitate a community art project. Hot lunch will be served courtesy of Soups, Sandwiches, & More and Stella’s.

Starting at Grant Park Shopping Centre at 9:45AM, a bus overflowing with youth and families will make their way into the downtown to volunteer at ‘Raising the Bar’. During their ride, members of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Community Homeless Assistance Team (CHAT) will educate these participants about the challenges and efforts to overcome the issue of homelessness in downtown Winnipeg. ‘Raising the Bar’ was inspired by Ellery Broder of Broderco Development, a downtown business owner, who wanted a way to get his kids and family involved.

“Business leaders are realizing that they need to become part of the solution,” says Stefano Grande, Executive Director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “Raising the Bar challenges our CEO Sleepout participants and the private and public sector to give back to the homeless and to help create a more tolerant and compassionate downtown.”

About the CEO Sleepout

On September 18th, 150+ CEOs, community leaders, and members of the media will take to the streets at the 4th annual CEO Sleepout. Camped out at Portage and Main, participants will help to elevate the discussion about homelessness and raise funds to give those living on the streets employment opportunities.

A marketing campaign led by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and its partners, Guppy Graphic Design, Kal Barteski, The Creaddo Group, and social agencies, will help stimulate greater conversation and critiques about homelessness – highlighting the gravity of this issue and the work being done to address it.

Bill Crossman, CEO of Guppy Graphic Design and a member of the BIZ’s Homelessness Committee, added: “This marketing campaign hopes to expose the harsh reality of homelessness but to also point to solutions like housing and employment. Guppy has been downtown for the last decade, and we’re proud to join other businesses in the efforts to create awareness about this important community issue.”

Earlier this year, funds from last year’s CEO Sleepout were doled out to Graffiti Art Programming Inc., Artbeat Studio, Macdonald Youth Services, Red Road Lodge, and Siloam Mission to create employment opportunities for individuals experiencing homelessness. Their stories will be shared at the CEO Sleepout with a booklet called Stories of Change – a series of interviews gathered by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and written by The Creaddo Group. Visit http://www.changeforthebetter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/CFTB_Stories_of_Change.pdf to read.

Editor’s note: CEO Sleepout Marketing Campaign attached.

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For more information, please contact:
Jason Syvixay, Managing Director
Ph: (204) 958-4635; 997-3040 | Email: jason@downtownwinnipegbiz.com