Social Enterprise takes on new external clients thanks to donors

Siloam Mission’s Laundry Service soared in 2023, taking on new external clients and employing even more people experiencing homelessness.

This year marks our fifth year of the social enterprise, and we have come a long way.

In 2019, the program started by doing Siloam’s linens for all its beds in the shelter and the kitchen’s laundry. Five years later, we still do Siloam’s laundry, but we have taken on clients in the healthcare industry, bread and bakery, waste management, and education.

What started as a small-scale business that employed two full-time staff members and other casual workers employed 10 community members in 2023, cleaning up to 1,000 pounds of laundry daily.

But none of this would be possible without the generous support of our donors who make it happen.

In 2022, Industrial Metals saw our appeal for a new laundry van that many of you generously supported. In response, they gifted us a brand new delivery van, allowing us to expand Siloam Laundry Service to offer pick-up and delivery, attracting new clients and ultimately giving more job opportunities to our community. 

“We were moved when we heard about the difference the program makes in the lives of people accessing Siloam’s services,” said Josh Chisick, Partner at Industrial Metals. “My brother Dan and I felt this was a unique opportunity for us to make a contribution, an investment really, in the lives of people who otherwise may not have the chance to receive the experience or training needed to get back into the workforce. It’s exciting to see that Siloam Laundry Service is growing, and in turn, more work is going to be available for people who will really benefit from the experience.”

We at Siloam – especially those who have benefitted from the laundry program – are so grateful not only to Industrial Metals but also for the tremendous support from everyone who contributed to the acquisition of the van. Every dollar donated for the van was invested in our programming and the community we serve. 

“This support has been instrumental in a lot of different ways at Siloam,” said Kendall Giilck, Building Futures Manager. “We would not be where we are today without it.”

Not only does Siloam Laundry Service provide an income for community members, but it also offers training and employment readiness programming to assist folks in entering the workforce. Complemented by Siloam’s broader service offering, such as housing search supports, the program has played an instrumental role in successfully helping many of our community members get back on their feet.

“It’s been a really cool thing to be able to watch them go from experiencing homelessness to having a regular job getting back on their feet, pursuing treatment, or even talking to their family for the first time in 15 years.” said Giilck. 

With the success the social enterprise has seen lately, Giilck said they expect to have at least thirteen individuals employed in 2024, servicing other Winnipeg businesses.

If your business needs help with its laundry and wants to make a difference, please call us at 204-956-4344 or email communications@siloam.ca.

The initial launch of Siloam Laundry Service was made possible in 2019 by a $200,000 grant from The Winnipeg Foundation.