REALTORS® Reach Out to Families of Violence and the Homeless in Brandon

In their first year hosting the Shelter Invitational Golf Tournament by the Brandon Area REALTORS®, $8,000 was raised and donated to the Manitoba Real Estate Association’s Shelter Foundation in support of shelter related charities.

This year the Shelter Foundation matched funds for a total of $16,753 being given locally through the following grants:

  • Samaritan House Ministries – Mary’s House – a grant of $10,648.00
  • Safe and Warm Shelter – care of Samaritan House Ministries – a grant of $6,000
  • Samaritan House Ministries – Mary’s House – a grant of $105.00 from the Vera Shaver Memorial Endowment Fund through the MREA Shelter Foundation has been awarded and those funds are to be directed towards a children’s project.

Thank you to all the sponsors, golfers and the Manitoba Real Estate Shelter Foundation for supporting these very worthwhile causes!

Mary’s House Program and Second Stage Housing – This home is designed for women who have left domestic violence and are working to live a healthier life. It is a part of Samaritan House Ministries who are responsible for the buildings, maintenance and administration of the program. The location of Mary’s House is undisclosed and the grounds are monitored to ensure safety for the women and their children. They can live at this location for up to a year as they transition back to the community in a safe way. There are groups on everything from life skills to understanding anger for parents and children, and community members who are not ‘in house’ can participate in many of these groups as well. Women and children receive regular counselling and support to help them be successful in moving on safely from the violence that they have experienced.  Mary’s House employs 2 dedicated and talented staff, a women’s counsellor/ program coordinator and a part time children’s counsellor. The program is dependent on donations for repairs, maintenance, furnishings, household items, toys and personal care items for the families.

The Safe and Warm Shelter – With  support of donations in cash and in kind from over 30 private agencies and individuals; and the work of the volunteer Safe and Warm Committee; safe emergency shelter is provided to the absolute homeless during some of the coldest months of the year. While the Safe & Warm Emergency Shelter is temporary in nature, the need to provide housing options for the absolute homeless in Brandon is not.  the Committee continues to seek options to provide emergency shelter to the absolute homeless in the most cost effective means possible. This includes exploring ways to reduce nightly security costs through the use of trained volunteers. The committee would ideally like to have the means to dedicate a staff person to the shelter. Doing so would strengthen the connection and access to supports for those seeking shelter, so they are able to transition to longer term housing.  The Safe & Warm Committee will continues to seek options to provide emergency shelter to the absolute homeless in the most cost effective means possible and welcome any donations in assisting with their goals!

Fulfilling the most basic of needs, safe shelter.

  • 57 individuals accessed the shelter, 36 of whom sought overnight shelter more than once.
  • In total, 285 shelter bed nights were provided.
  • 17 individuals who accessed the shelter were able to secure longer term housing (30% success rate)
  • The shelter was open for 97 nights. 5 of these nights, no individuals sought shelter.
  • The Safe & Warm Shelter offered space for a maximum of 10 people to sleep.
  • The planning, coordination and operation of the emergency shelter this past winter consumed 965 volunteer hours.

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