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  #8401  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2022, 4:34 PM
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the Albert and Marlborough already house a lot of questionable individuals in close proximity.. it wouldn't change the character of the area much.
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  #8402  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2022, 6:30 PM
Phil's neighbour Phil's neighbour is offline
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This Free Press article reads like a load of BS served out to a gullible reporter. It doesn’t appear Zaif has actually done anything but maybe give CMHC a call. That’s a thin thread, likely aimed at stirring up exactly the sort of reaction we are seeing here. A shelter just a block from Portage and Main? He knows how this will go over and obviously hopes it’ll buy him some relief.
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  #8403  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2022, 7:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil's neighbour View Post
This Free Press article reads like a load of BS served out to a gullible reporter. It doesn’t appear Zaif has actually done anything but maybe give CMHC a call. That’s a thin thread, likely aimed at stirring up exactly the sort of reaction we are seeing here. A shelter just a block from Portage and Main? He knows how this will go over and obviously hopes it’ll buy him some relief.
He'd do it in a heartbeat. Free government money to fix up his place and house addicts, while eliminating the vacant building fee imposed by the city? While still getting to sit on the building in hopes of a unicorn that might some day arrive? What's not to love?
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  #8404  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2022, 8:19 PM
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As much as Zaifman seems to deserve the incredulity here, I have an issue with the "building to house addicts" spin. The "proposal", such as it is, is supposed to be housing for people who have transitioned out of treatment and need a place to stay. That, in itself, is a real need, but Zaifman doing it? Doubt it's likely.
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  #8405  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2022, 5:51 AM
city_slicker city_slicker is offline
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Originally Posted by trueviking View Post
It’s surprising that 10 storey wasn’t opposed. I do wish they were forced to do an active ground floor that interacted with the sidewalk.

The other building a bit further down on Sherbrook is coming along too.
It's an active living facility - the most we could do was steer them to put the resident dining rooms against the street. not publicly accessible, but will 'read' as a restaurant a lot of the time.

Fun fact: originally the resident pick up drop off loop was there, on the street corner. Our first issue was getting them to take access from lane and push the active uses to the corner

http://clkapps.winnipeg.ca/DMIS/perm...1007(RM)CCC-17
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  #8406  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2022, 6:00 PM
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His plan is obviously to try and seek a waiver of the boarded buildings fees by claiming he's now working on a noble affordable housing project. How could the monstrous city bureaucrats continue to impose fees when he is merely trying to house the homeless yadda yadda yadda.
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  #8407  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2022, 6:45 PM
BAKGUY BAKGUY is offline
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Zaifman?
What a crock..he can not be trusted...He has had nearly 2 decades to develop this property which is on such a prominent corner.
That corner is the gateway to The Historical Exchange District.
Nothing but a Shyster.
He already was a well to do lawyer in the 80's & 90's and would have the right connections for investors if he truly ever wanted more than to demolish. Parking revenue was his goal.
This is a Bedford/Reiss effect that was tried and failed on the corner of Bannatyne & King and they had to rebuild the block they did not heat that eventually crumbled.
He admits he wanted to raize the St Charles and have a nice Cement parking lot on it,
Seize that property & sell it to someone who has a pulsating heart, eg... like The Pollards or whomever cares who will bring it back to life.
The boutique hotel idea is a very good idea in today's economy.Very popular lately.
Even one floor of that and one floor or residential be it rent or condo would be perfect.
Hopefully the main floor would have 1 or 2 dining options and perhaps something else retail.
We see what Main Street Project expansion into Mitchell Fabrics has added to that area.
I would caution of that is what we would like 1/4 of a block form Portage avenue which already has many issues.
Nothing against providing a place for recovering addicts with many building towards Isabel, William etc..
We still have to have some kind of image to attract investment downtown or we are doomed.Out of town investors look at the heart of the city so I would advise caution.
Force Mr Slimeball Shysterman to sell and lets get this property up & running.

Last edited by BAKGUY; Dec 7, 2022 at 4:40 AM.
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  #8408  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 12:54 AM
T'Cona T'Cona is offline
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Even seeing his name makes me want to have a shower.
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  #8409  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 2:05 AM
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That corner would actually be very important for establishing a continuous corridor from Main/Portage (Times Change(d), Modern Electric, beer garden, Pyramid, Club 200, La Roca etc.) through to the Exchange via Albert.

As it is, that vacant block (depending on whether someone is trying to revive The Albert this week) is a huge dead zone between two entertainment districts that are trying to gather momentum.

As it is, it has four street level entrances that ostensibly could lead to four destinations, be they restaurants, bars, cafes, whatever. Pray The Albert lives and pulls through, and that whatever it going on in 52 Albert comes to fruition, and that would make Albert a full street of destinations, albeit not currently all operating at the same times of day.

There could certainly be residential, whether conventional or transitional, on upper levels but the best thing for the SHED would be tenants that engage with the street, and fill out Albert. Currently, having to cross huge dead swaths of either closed or outright vacant stuff contributes greatly to keeping people on one side or the other of the Downtown/Exchange area, if they come at all.

There's also that lavish new lobby and courtyard next door.

There's no guarantee someone will develop it in the ideal way in a reasonable time frame, but we'll never know as long as Zaifman is an anchor dragging on the seabed.
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  #8410  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 6:28 AM
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Shipping container warehousing for people at risk on Henry Street appears to be misguided. (Today’s WFP)

No discussion as of yet on the impact on students of adjacent Argyle High School.

No access to the shipping container housing except across the freeway / overpass or through the school yard.

No discussion with the adjacent home owners. (Wanda Koop)

No development will move forward on the adjacent lands with this type of housing in this location. ( 300 market units in the immediate area have been put on hold once again!).

Proposed Waterfront condo project is also now in a holding pattern.

Perhaps the City owned land down on Higgins would be better suited.

I believe there may be CV involvement in this proposal as they control a portion of the site.

Transitional housing is needed but this is not the spot…

Maybe Market Lands or the St Regis site?

Last edited by Labroco; Dec 7, 2022 at 6:51 AM.
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  #8411  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 12:06 PM
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^Wow I thought when a project like this would be approved it would require some form of public engagement.

I know this would be more of a suburban idea, but what about having transitional housing next to malls with grocery stores? I’m sure market rate buildings would be more preferable but if we’re trying to cut down on surface lot space this could be a solution. Especially since malls have decent enough pedestrian traffic where the negative affects of transitional housing could be hidden better.
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  #8412  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 2:26 PM
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So Wanda Koop runs the exchange like some sort of godmother. Everything must gain her approval?

The shipping container thing is escapement central already. Doubt it will actually be shipping containers. Likely either be changed to modular stick frame type housing or be killed altogether.
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  #8413  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 5:10 PM
WinCitySparky WinCitySparky is offline
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Hopefully it’s killed
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  #8414  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 5:17 PM
T'Cona T'Cona is offline
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Originally Posted by post_man View Post
That corner would actually be very important for establishing a continuous corridor from Main/Portage (Times Change(d), Modern Electric, beer garden, Pyramid, Club 200, La Roca etc.) through to the Exchange via Albert.

As it is, that vacant block (depending on whether someone is trying to revive The Albert this week) is a huge dead zone between two entertainment districts that are trying to gather momentum.

As it is, it has four street level entrances that ostensibly could lead to four destinations, be they restaurants, bars, cafes, whatever. Pray The Albert lives and pulls through, and that whatever it going on in 52 Albert comes to fruition, and that would make Albert a full street of destinations, albeit not currently all operating at the same times of day.

There could certainly be residential, whether conventional or transitional, on upper levels but the best thing for the SHED would be tenants that engage with the street, and fill out Albert. Currently, having to cross huge dead swaths of either closed or outright vacant stuff contributes greatly to keeping people on one side or the other of the Downtown/Exchange area, if they come at all.

There's also that lavish new lobby and courtyard next door.

There's no guarantee someone will develop it in the ideal way in a reasonable time frame, but we'll never know as long as Zaifman is an anchor dragging on the seabed.
The redevelopment of this building could be a game changer for the area. Sadly, this is Winnipeg though.
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  #8415  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 6:05 PM
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I wonder if the site of the park at Higgins and Main where the former Royal Alex hotel once stood would be a contender for a development like this? that park always seemed like a placeholder to me.
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  #8416  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 7:16 PM
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I wonder if the site of the park at Higgins and Main where the former Royal Alex hotel once stood would be a contender for a development like this? that park always seemed like a placeholder to me.
Agreed, it's one of the key entry points into downtown Winnipeg and it has been a "park" for over 50 years now since the Royal Alexandra Hotel was demolished. It doesn't get a lot of attention because it's somewhat landscaped, but it's basically a vacant lot. It would be great to see something happen with it.

On that note, I wonder who owns it? Is it city-owned, or does CP (or someone else, like ACW) still own it?
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  #8417  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 8:05 PM
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Housing first and foremost
Nursing-led initiative aims to offer city’s homeless the dignity and understanding they deserve



Ken St. George has dedicated the last 20 years to taking care of people in the community-health sector. Now he will enact the Housing First model in Winnipeg for the first time.

St. George, a long-time nurse who took a stab at civic politics as a candidate in the Charleswood-Tuxedo ward, has shared countless moments with patients in their homes (many of whom are Indigenous), listening to them sorrowfully recollect and launch tirades about the city’s Indigenous population being stuck behind the societal eight-ball with trauma that has led to addiction, and in many cases, homelessness.

“I have a pretty good understanding… of why they’re struggling the way they are,” St. George told the Free Press in an earlier interview.

“… It led me to say, ‘You know what, these people need to be housed properly, in dignity, and they need support by people who truly understand what they’re going through.’”

In 2021, St. George created Albert House, a non-profit with the goal of aiding the city’s homeless. Now he has the blueprint for his first project, a nursing-led housing initiative that could shake up the way support is offered to those searching for stability in Manitoba’s capital.

Albert House, simply named after its organization, is an 84-unit complex to be erected on the south side of Henry Avenue in South Point Douglas, beside Argyle Alternative High School. Each suite will be 310 square feet and the building will be powered by a solar grid. The development will feature a 2,200-square-foot multi-purpose room, often used for traditional Indigenous ceremonies, while 28 units will be fully accessible.

St. George estimates the project will cost about $18 million — a nice bang for his buck when compared to the Village Project, a recent supportive housing initiative by End Homelessness Winnipeg that came in just shy of eight-million dollars for its 22 units. St. George figures to have enough capital to break ground by next fall and is optimistic Albert House will be fully operational by summer of 2024.

The most important part of the impending build, however, is its purpose and the model it will adopt.

Housing First, originally proposed in the late 20th century, was actioned by Dr. Sam Tsemberis, a New York-based clinical psychologist, in 2003. The approach bypasses common housing levels like transitional and emergency shelters with the goal of getting as many people off the street as quickly as possible in to a permanent residence while offering them sustained support to truly recover from whatever trauma, mental health issues or addictions they may suffer from.

The strategy has been implemented across North America and as far away as Finland, with great success.

St. George said Albert House’s approach will closely resemble that of Ambrose Place, a 42-unit recovery centre for Indigenous people struggling with homelessness in Edmonton.

“Is this a Housing First model? Absolutely. But it’s not a model in the traditional sense in which I’m going to consider someone no longer being homeless after being with me for six months, because I think that template needs to be extended,” St. George said.

“We are going to have every single imaginable support in harm reduction and recovery at the same site so they can recover — or at least give them the opportunity to recover — and whether it’s six months or six years, we get them there.”

St. George said a reoccurring problem he’s noticed with housing initiatives is that tenants end up isolated and are not offered enough support.

“Ask anybody on the street who’s their family; it’s the other folks on the street because they’ve lost those connections with family,” he said. “Housing First doesn’t work when you do it in isolation. So I told my partners we’re creating a community here. This is how people heal.”

Jamil Mahmood, executive director of Main Street Project, says the city is in a low-income, transitional housing crisis. More than 700 people are left to scramble for emergency shelter beds on any given night, he explained.

“It’s essential,” Mahmood said of Housing First initiatives. “People need safe places to be in. Until you’re in a safe place, your trauma response is always going to be high, you’re not able to relax and you’re always in a state of emergency.

“We talk a lot about that need for transitional (housing) as a baseline. Transitional should be that first service you get versus a shelter. A shelter is just a cot in a room. It’s not giving you a lot of those opportunities to stabilize your life and have security.”

Mahmood said the City of Winnipeg appears content to invest in emergency services rather than “being proactive and building the housing and giving the right supports.”

“It really needs all levels of government to get on the same page and make that investment. The willingness is there in the community,” he said.

Rick Lees, CEO of Equal Housing Initiative, was quick to point to Canada passing legislation on Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2019, which declares everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of the individual and of their family.

“Even though we’ve legislated it, we have not enacted that,” Lees said.

A 2019 census reveals there were 1,644 homeless in Winnipeg. Lees claims that number is understated by about 5,000 people. Most of the people who need supportive housing, he explained, live in for-profit facilities or rooming houses, leaving them unaccounted for in the census.

Lees noted that several supports across the city will offer two-year stays for those recovering from addiction, but says they are booted from the program if they relapse.

“How does that make any sense?” he said. “We know for a fact that 90 per cent of people who are going through recovery will relapse at many times on their journey, and the worst thing you can do is push them back out onto the street.”

St. George assures he would re-accept tenants who leave or relapse during their time in Albert House. Aboriginal Health and Wellness will staff the complex, providing tenants with around-the-clock wrap-around support to work through trauma and addiction.

The housing will cost tenants $632 a month, which, according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, is 80 per cent of the median market ratio in South Point Douglas. St. George is confident people can afford their stay through funds such as the Canada-Manitoba Housing Benefit, which offers eligible renters who are homeless or Indigenous upwards of $250 per month.

St. George’s inaugural build will be undertaken with a fresh approach to construction. Albert House will be built exclusively out of shipping containers. Employing Corten steel is a cost-effective approach that will prevent mold, mildew, infestation and fire breakouts. It’s also an optimal build when considering harm reduction.

“The bottom line is the people that we are… going to help will have addiction issues, they’ll have a lot of struggles,” St. George said. “Their safety is first and foremost, in my mind.”

“It’s equitable housing, which should be a human right.”
https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/bu...t-and-foremost
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  #8418  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 8:09 PM
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Agreed, it's one of the key entry points into downtown Winnipeg and it has been a "park" for over 50 years now since the Royal Alexandra Hotel was demolished. It doesn't get a lot of attention because it's somewhat landscaped, but it's basically a vacant lot. It would be great to see something happen with it.

On that note, I wonder who owns it? Is it city-owned, or does CP (or someone else, like ACW) still own it?
It's on the same title as the former CP station next door, so it would be owned by the same owner as the Aboriginal Centre. (This makes sense because the Royal Alex was a CP hotel, and was connected to the station building.)
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  #8419  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 8:36 PM
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^ Thank you, that makes sense. I thought it was possible that the parcel might have been divided after the hotel closed down, or that maybe CP had decided to speculatively retain the empty parcel after transferring the station building to ACW, but clearly that didn't happen.
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  #8420  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2022, 9:48 PM
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Thanks for the article WPG_GUY.

Let's hope it is a success and actually utilized by people struggling. Not people who just want a cheap place to live..
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