Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

February 03, 2010 15:00 ET

Government of Canada Gives a Hand Up to Youth in Regina Who Are Homeless or at Risk of Homelessness

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Feb. 3, 2010) - Youth in Regina who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will soon have access to a newly constructed shelter for youth, thanks to support from the Government of Canada. Today, Mr. Andrew Scheer, Member of Parliament for Regina-Qu'Appelle, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced funding from the Government's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), as well as an in-kind contribution through the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative (SFRPHI), to Street Culture Kidz Project Inc. HPS funding will be used to construct an emergency housing facility for youth in Regina.

"Our government is supporting many Canadians with housing needs and is helping those seeking to break free from the cycle of homelessness and poverty," said Mr. Scheer. "Through this investment, Street Culture Kidz Project will be able to help youth who are homeless or at risk of being homeless by providing emergency shelter."

HPS funding of over $1.2 million will be used by Street Culture Kidz Project to construct an emergency housing facility by March 2011. The new shelter will offer a minimum of 15 emergency beds for homeless youth between the ages of 14 and 18. The SFRPHI is making an in-kind contribution of the property on which the shelter will be built, valued at $185,000.

When a youth is facing the challenge of being street-involved and is in survival mode, education and other life skills are not even on their radar," said Ms. Kim Sutherland, Chief Executive Officer of Street Culture Kidz Project Inc. "The support from HRSDC to build Saskatchewan's first youth shelter is a critical first step in providing Street Culture with the tools to stabilize, educate and strengthen young people searching to find home. Beyond their financial contribution, HRSDC's team of experts supports us in our journey towards innovative community development. We are proud to stand with HRSDC in partnered effort."

In October 2009, the Province of Saskatchewan announced that it was also providing support for the project.

"Through Saskatchewan Social Services and Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, the Province is pleased to have contributed $1 million in one-time capital funding to this important project, which will provide at-risk youth in Regina's inner city with greater access to emergency shelter, as well as to skilled counsellors and case planning," said Ms. Laura Ross, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Regina Qu'Appelle Valley, on behalf of the Honourable Donna Harpauer, Minister of Social Services. "In addition to the $1 million in capital funding, the Province of Saskatchewan will also provide annual operational funding to Street Culture Kidz once the emergency shelter opens. This project has been endorsed by the Regina Homelessness Committee, and I'm confident it will make a positive difference in the lives of many young people."

In September 2008, the Government of Canada announced $1.9 billion over five years, until March 2014, for housing and homelessness programs for low-income Canadians. This commitment provides the Government with the flexibility to work with the provinces and territories, municipalities and charitable organizations to develop ways to improve the effectiveness of federal spending in the area of housing and homelessness.

This ongoing funding will ensure that the Government can continue to assist those who need support, including homeless people and those at risk of homelessness-low-income Canadians, seniors, people with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people.

Canada's Economic Action Plan is building on these investments by making an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing, and by making available up to $2 billion in loans to Canadian municipalities over two years for housing-related infrastructure improvements. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

The provision of safe and stable housing and related supports is an important element for addressing homelessness and helping individuals achieve greater self-sufficiency and improved quality of life. The Homelessness Partnering Strategy therefore places an emphasis on longer-term transitional and supportive housing through a housing-first approach to help people overcome homelessness.

For more information on the Strategy, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.



BACKGROUNDER

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to more than 60 communities across Canada. The HPS took effect April 1, 2007, with annual funding of $134.8 million for two years. Funding for housing and homelessness programs has been extended for another five years, until March 31, 2014.

The HPS provides structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless achieve self-sufficiency and full participation in society. This model seeks to address homelessness by working in partnership with the provinces and territories, other federal departments, as well as with communities and the private and non-profit sectors. By working with all our partners, we will maximize results to make a lasting difference in the lives of vulnerable Canadians. The Homelessness Partnering Strategy provides the support that our community partners are seeking.

The Strategy uses a housing-first approach, recognizing that the first step is to provide individuals with transitional and supportive housing.

The HPS has seven funding streams:

Regionally Delivered:

- Designated Communities

- Outreach Communities

- Aboriginal Communities

Nationally Delivered:

- Federal Horizontal Pilot Projects

- Homelessness Knowledge Development

- Homeless Individuals and Families Information System

- Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the seven funding streams, please visit the following Web site: www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559