Siloam Mission has opened a new facility offering expanded and integrated services, including an expanded shelter with a separate women’s area, for those experiencing homelessness.
The new Buhler Centre adds 54,000 square feet of space, which also includes an expanded health centre and more space for mental health, employment readiness and spiritual care supports. The building not only expands but reorganizes Siloam Mission’s services into a more integrated and accessible facility to better serve the community.
“In the midst of a challenging time, the opening of the Buhler Centre allows us to continue serving our city’s most vulnerable and prioritize safety,” says Siloam Mission CEO Jim Bell. “We are tremendously thankful to our amazing donors, and partners at all three levels of government. The Buhler Centre would not be here without help from the Governments of Canada and Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg, the CMHC, the many donors to our Make Room Capital Campaign, and of course, Bonnie and John Buhler.”
Siloam Mission reached its $19 million goal for the Make Room Capital Campaign in May. Major contributions include a $2.2 million investment from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a $3 million joint investment from the federal government and Government of Manitoba, additional funding administered through the City of Winnipeg, and a $3 million gift from Bonnie and John Buhler – the largest private gift in Siloam Mission’s history.
“The Buhler Centre shows us all how personal leadership, community spirit and co-operation help to build a Manitoba that ensures safety, health and dignity for all,” said Janice Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.
“It is with great pleasure that our Government, through the National Housing Strategy, is supporting organizations like Siloam Mission, so that collectively, we are better able to lift vulnerable populations of all races, age, and gender, out of homelessness,” said Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South. “I am happy to be here to celebrate the official opening of a centre that will serve women, men, and the LGBTQ2 community at risk of homelessness in the city of Winnipeg. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this project a reality.”
“This is an exciting day for Siloam Mission and for all Manitobans who have seen what this organization has accomplished during more than three decades in assisting our most vulnerable citizens with meals, clothing, counselling, shelter and other services,” said Heather Stefanson, Minister of Families and Deputy Premier of Manitoba. “On behalf of Premier Brian Pallister and the Province of Manitoba, I am thrilled to bring congratulations upon the opening of the Buhler Centre expansion that includes more beds and dedicated beds for women that are so critical to ensure no one is turned away during the current public health crisis. Our government is proud to have invested $3 million to support this expansion, in addition to committing operating funding to assist with Siloam Mission’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Siloam Mission is an inspiration to Manitobans in its ongoing work for the most vulnerable among us.”
“It is great to see this project completed as a result of the generous donors and a tri-level government partnership,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Siloam Mission is an amazing organization that provides compassionate care for those experiencing homelessness and the City of Winnipeg is grateful for their efforts.”
“Every year more men and women come to Siloam Mission for help,” said Garth Manness, chair of the Make Room Capital Campaign. “We launched the campaign because Siloam Mission was reaching its capacity to help with the resources it had. But the timing of opening this expanded space is even more critical than we foresaw – Manitoba needs Siloam Mission and the services it provides now more than ever.”
The Make Room Capital Campaign officially launched in August 2017, and broke ground on the expansion in February 2018. While the Buhler Centre includes new and expanded spaces for many programs and services, most are operating at a reduced capacity and with modified service delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buhler Centre Facts:
About the Buhler Centre
- A 54,000-square-foot expansion over three floors
- Construction began in January 2018, and was effectively completed (gained possession) in June 2020
- Made possible by a $3 Million gift from Bonnie & John Buhler, a $3M joint investment from the federal and provincial governments, $2.2M from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), additional funding administered through the City of Winnipeg, and many generous private and corporate gifts
Kitchen & Drop In
- In October 2017, Siloam opened its new kitchen and drop-in centre on Stanley St
- This increased seating capacity from 150 to more than 400 and improved kitchen facilities to increase capacity and efficiency of service
- The building also became home to a new Volunteer Services centre, a community hair salon, and the arts & wellness area (Longtin Resource Centre) through which we are able to run expanded mental health programming and a variety of art therapy programs
- The Buhler Centre adds 43 new shelter beds, for a total of 153 (*NOTE: Due to COVID-19 social distancing precautions, capacity in the shelter is limited to 112)
- This includes a separate and more secure space for women, as well as flexible space to accommodate a fluctuating population
- New shelter space includes dedicated transitional beds for those newly experiencing homelessness, to increase success rates of transitioning back to housing
Clothing & Hygiene Areas
- Accessible through the client-facing reception area of the Buhler Centre, the basement of the new building houses an expanded clothing store, a new hygiene centre with daytime access to showers and laundry machines, and space for sorting and storing donations of clothes and hygiene items
Progressive Services, SSHC & Admin
- The main floor of the Buhler Centre is the new home for a purpose-built progressive services centre, providing accessible space for our Transition Services program, Spiritual Care, and Building Futures employment readiness programs
- The main floor is also home to the expanded Saul Sair Health Centre, which is being renovated to add new recovery beds, additional exam rooms and optometry space
- On the second floor, alongside the shelter expansion is a new classroom and multipurpose space for students, donor events and staff training, as well as our new office space for administrative staff
Social Enterprise & Recovery Units
- The expansion and move of services into the Buhler Centre has also freed up space for additional services in our existing buildings
- This includes the Social Enterprise Laundry, which employs members of our community full-time on a term basis to help with transitioning to independence
- The next project will be 20 new supportive housing recovery units, located on the 3rd floor of our old building, which will help bridge the gap for people coming out of addictions treatment who do not have a home to return to and would be at risk of homelessness
- These units have been funded in part by a $500 thousand grant from the Manitoba Government, and are expected to open in spring of 2021