Clients of Main Street Project receive standing ovation in fashion show fundraiser, raising more than $19,000

Five clients from Main Street Project brought more than 500 guests, including Dan Vandal, Honourable Heather Stefanson, Mayor Brian Bowman and emcee Ace Burpee, to their feet when they strutted the runway in The Runway to Change fashion show two weeks ago at The Fort Garry Hotel.

The clients dressed in their practical, fashion forward clothing of their choosing from Out of the Blue and Mark’s for the first time, giving them the confidence to take the stage for the last run of the show.

Phil Goss, 69, peer advocate at Main Street Project, and former MSP client, walked in the first and second Runway to Change,  where he had the opportunity to share his story to raise awareness about the stigma that surrounds homelessness.

“The Runway to Change is a great event. It gave an opportunity to some clients for a night out and to talk to people about themselves and share their situation in a good light,” Goss said. “It also gave the public a chance to get a little more familiar with what Main Street Project does, and it was a moment for our clients to strut their stuff and be the stars for a night.”

The men and women participated as models in the show as a way of giving back to the shelter that helped them get back on their feet. Four video profiles, sharing intimate and vulnerable stories, from some of the clients walking in the show played between runs to raise awareness and end the stigma on the subject of homlessness and substance abuse in Winnipeg.

Following the show, The Runway to Change more than doubled last year’s donation to $19,000 as well as hundreds of pairs of underwear, socks, mittens, toques, scarves and winter coats that were collected leading up to and the night of the show.

The show included clothing from 12 retailers including, EPH Apparel, Flaunt Boutique, Hush Collection, Lennard Taylor, Loka Boutique, Mad About Style, Margot + Maude, Mark’s, Out of the Blue, Style Bar, Topshop and Topman.

About The Runway to Change

The Runway to Change aims to promote awareness of Main Street Project (MSP), while collecting monetary and clothing donations for the organization. Through the first Runway to Change, more than $8,000.00, as well as 115 pairs of underwear, 355 pairs of socks, 128 pairs of mittens, 350 toques, 134 scarves, 110 winter coats, and 243 pounds of coffee were collected in support of MSP. Thank you for helping us raise more than $19,000.00 for MSP on February 10. Let’s work together to keep those experiencing homelessness warm. For more information, please visit therunwaytochange.com.

About Main Street Project

Main Street Project Inc. (MSP) is a non-profit community health agency operating on housing first and harm reduction principles. Since 1972, Main Street Project has served the needs of Winnipeg’s most vulnerable citizens who are experiencing homelessness, addictions and mental and physical health issues by providing emergency shelter, nutrition services, drug and alcohol detoxification, health advocacy and support, counselling and housing support services. For more information, please visit mainstreetproject.ca.