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A massive 54,000 square foot expansion to Winnipeg’s Siloam Mission is well underway. As construction continues, the shelter opened its doors to give the public a look at the new and improved services.

Siloam Mission’s new Buhler Centre is linked to the original building at 300 Princess Street. It is expected to be completed in spring of 2020. On Saturday, the Siloam Mission gave tours to the community to show how the project is coming along.

“For people that haven’t been here before, in particular – they are quite overwhelmed and surprised by the size,” said Jim Bell, the CEO of Siloam Mission. “The size speaks to the need that we have in the community, but because there is a need we feel ever so grateful that we are able to expand so that we can help people progress and transition.”

The new centre will feature 41 new beds in the shelter, which currently has 150, as well as a bigger space for transitional services. There will be more room for health care and mental health facilities, as well as recovery beds for patients to stay overnight if they get sick.

The centre will also offer spiritual care areas, new donation shipping and receiving areas, and one-on-one transitional services areas for people in the community.

“It’s our goal that through all these services and the expansion – we simply want to help people to move on,” Bell said.

The project has currently raised $17.5 million of its $19 million cost. Bell said so far the project has been on schedule and on budget.

The project was kick started with a $3 million donation from philanthropists Bonnie and John Buhler, along with some money from all levels of government.

Bell said the mission is always looking for donations, but with the cold weather setting in there are a few specific things they need.

People can donate men and women’s long underwear and winter jackets, as well as cough medicine, Tylenol and aspirin.

Bell said people can also donate their time or money to the shelter.