WINNIPEG —; A Winnipeg hotel that’s being converted to apartments is giving hundreds of pieces of furniture and household items to help with the settlement of Syrian refugees.
The Antares Luxury Suites, formerly the Place Louis Riel hotel, is donating everything from the beds to cookware.
It’s meant to give Syrian refugees like Mohamed Alshame, who arrived in Winnipeg just over a month ago, a fresh start.
“That choice to start again a normal life, that makes him very, very happy,” he said through a translator.
“We thought well what a great opportunity for us to re-purpose this furniture for a worthwhile cause to help these new immigrants to Canada really get a leg up and a fresh start,” said general manager of Antares Luxury Suites John Saad.
On Tuesday, a group of Syrian refugees, members of the Winnipeg Police Service and a local Hutterite colony all worked together to move the items out of the hotel and into an empty city arena.
A downtown hotel is donating furniture to help Syrian refugees settle in Winnipeg. Sean Leslie/Global News
A downtown hotel is donating furniture to help Syrian refugees settle in Winnipeg.
Sean Leslie/Global News
“We’re a diverse city so any help that we can give is just beneficial to everybody,” said Winnipeg Police Service patrol sergeant Wendy Basic.
“We all have hard times and it’s the people around you that help you. That’s what you need, those are your moments where you support your fellow man,” said Brian Kleinsasser from the Crystal Spring Hutterite Colony.
The furniture will be stored at the vacant arena until the Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute doles it out to Syrian families once they are in their permanent homes.