April 20, 2015

WINNIPEG – The Our Place-Chez Nous drop-in centre, in the heart of the infamous Main Street strip, is helping more people than ever ndash; a testament to the dedication of its volunteers, but a sign homelessness isn't going away.

"More and more people are coming to Chez Nous," said its former director, Larry Stuart, at a recent fundraiser.

Stuart said the only revenue source for Chez Nous' $40,000 budget is donations. "We pay no wages; we rely on volunteers."

Stuart compared Chez Nous to a human body "and you are the blood. We cannot survive without you."

A video presentation about Chez Nous, stated that the objective of the centre is not to change the world.

"We're not cleaning up downtown or eliminating its poverty. We're just making contact with people who Jesus is said to have befriended.

"We endeavour to see the face of Jesus when we interact with the less fortunate. So many have been abandoned by their families, we are their family."

Chez Nous is open three mornings a week, serving coffee, tea, cake and cookies. There are games, puzzles, reading material and computers.

Showers for men and women are available with towels, soap and shampoo. Once a week people are able to obtain free clothing and household goods.