News / Edmonton

‘Such a stress reliever’: Home for men in need gets funds for essentials

Urban Manor Housing Society among facilities to benefit from $1.7M in provincial grants.

Shawn Lebar, left, and Charlie Manns pose in front of the Urban Manor Housing Society.

Kevin Maimann / Metro

Shawn Lebar, left, and Charlie Manns pose in front of the Urban Manor Housing Society.

Residents of a McCauley housing facility for men struggling with addiction are sleeping soundly after getting new money from the province.

The Urban Manor Housing Society received just over $52,000 that has been used to buy a working dishwasher, fix a leaking roof, update the building’s fire alarms, install new lockers, and buy much-needed new mattresses for its 75 residents.

“Just getting what we have gotten to date, from this money, has been such a stress reliever. You have no idea,” said Urban Manor’s Executive Director Linda Noel.

“When our boys come downstairs in the morning and say what a great sleep they got because they’re on a new mattress, that really does your heart good.”

The money is part of a broad announcement by the province that will see $1.7 million go to homeless shelters for maintenance and upgrades that address fire, health and safety risks.

Urban Manor provides residents with three meals a day, weekly visits by nurses and pharmacists, and a safe space for drinking an allotted amount of alcohol provided they comply with the house rules.

After the dishwasher unexpectedly broke, staff, residents and volunteers were spending hours scrubbing dishes in the kitchen.

“It’s hard on the people who live here, it’s hard on the staff,” said resident Shawn Lebar. “It may seem like a small thing to other people, but a dishwasher means a lot.”

He said Urban Manor is a “godsend” and feels like home to him after previously staying at the Herb Jamieson Centre.

Lebar said he’s been sleeping a lot better since getting new mattresses.

“It makes a huge difference in your day. Especially if you’re working,” he said.

Resident Charlie Manns said it’s stressful when things break down in the building and they don’t have the funds to replace them.

For him, the services the society provides are vital.

“If I wasn’t here I don’t think I’d be alive too long. Not out on the street,” Manns said.

The provincial grant also included $342,000 for Hope Mission and $62,000 for Operation Friendship Seniors Society.

Boyle Street Community Services, meanwhile, got a $250,000 grant to build a business case for redevelopment by Dec. 31, 2018, and the city was given $250,000 to identify service gaps and explore an integrated community wellness approach by working with police and 11 community agencies.

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