Released April 11, 2007

Official Opening of Wiseman Centre in St. John’s

Today marked the official opening of the re-developed Wiseman Centre in St. John’s built at a cost of over $3.6 million. The newly renovated Wiseman Centre offers 10 new supportive housing units for older males and 20 self-contained shelter units, along with specialized programs and services to help residents to live as independently as possible.

Attending today’s ceremony were Fabian Manning, Member of Parliament for Avalon, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC); the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and Minister Responsible for Newfoundland Labrador Housing; and

Mayor Andy Wells of the City of St. John’s. Also participating were Major Ray Rowe, Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army and Commissioner M. Christine MacMillan, Territorial Commander for the Canada and Bermuda Territory of the Salvation Army.

"It is encouraging to see the tremendous level of cooperation and partnerships involved with the re-development of the Wiseman Centre," said MP Manning. "Canada’s New Government is proud to be a part of this supportive housing project and its programs and services for older males facing very challenging circumstances. This project contributes in a very positive way to the community of St. John’s."

"We are thrilled to be a partner in making this amazing facility a reality," said Minister Skinner. "The centre will

provide many individuals access to the transitional and supportive services they need to make positive changes in their lives. On behalf of the provincial government, I commend all the partners involved in this initiative, which clearly demonstrates how effective we can be when we work together as a community."

"The opening of this newly refurbished shelter which we are celebrating today is a very important one for our city," said Mayor Wells. "It’s another example of the Salvation Army extending their care to people in need. Congratulations to everyone associated with this undertaking,"

Funding of $1,397,500 was made available to the operators of the Wiseman Centre, the Salvation Army-Newfoundland and Labrador East Division, through the Government of Canada’s National Homelessness Initiative.

In addition, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Newfoundland Labrador Housing cost-shared a $750,000 contribution under the Canada/Newfoundland and Labrador Affordable Housing Agreement, and $240,000 under the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (Rental) which in Newfoundland and Labrador is referred to as the Provincial Home Repair Program (PHRP).

Through Newfoundland Labrador Housing, the province conveyed the Wiseman Centre property, valued at $396,000, to The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army also contributed $1,225,436 through a variety of funding sources; and further in-kind support of $119,570 has been forthcoming from the corporate community. Additionally, approximately $700,000 per year will be provided by the provincial Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment along with other contributions for operating costs.

"This is a proud day for the Salvation Army and an important day for our community," said Major Rowe. "The new Wiseman Centre will provide a safe shelter with specialized supports for older men facing challenging circumstances in the St. John’s area. It’s a real need that will now be addressed."

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For more information:

Homelessness Partnering Strategy:
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: 
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing: 
Newfoundland Labrador Housing:
The Salvation Army:

Media contacts:

Lorne Lambert
Regional Manager Communications
Service Canada
Jenny Bowring
Newfoundland Labrador Housing
Major Loretta Fudge
The Salvation Army
Newfoundland and Labrador East Division
Dawn Ring