Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

December 18, 2009 11:00 ET

Government of Canada Helping Those Who Are Homeless or at Risk of Homelessness in Ontario

BARRIE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2009) - The Government of Canada is helping those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless build a stronger future for themselves.

Mr. Patrick Brown, Member of Parliament for Barrie, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced Homelessness Partnering Strategy funding for the United Way of Greater Simcoe County for Outreach activity in Ontario.

"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. Brown. "Through this investment, the United Way of Greater Simcoe County will help ensure that homeless people and those at risk of homelessness are provided housing solutions, shelter and support and prevention services."

As the organization selected to administer funding under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy's Outreach Communities component in Ontario, the United Way of Greater Simcoe County will use this federal investment of more than $1.5 million to deliver various projects in the province. The organization will work with service providers from smaller, rural and outlying areas to prevent and reduce homelessness by supporting projects that fill gaps in their services.

"The United Way of Greater Simcoe County is delighted to have been chosen as the Community Entity," said Ms. Seija Suutari, Executive Director of the United Way of Greater Simcoe County. "Our participation in the Outreach project aligns strategically with our mission of making a difference to communities by assessing local needs and distributing resources to help those most in need. Homelessness is not solely an urban issue; many of Ontario's rural areas have similar challenges with the lack of affordable housing and the risks of homelessness."

In September 2008, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $1.9 billion over five years for housing and homelessness programs for low-income Canadians. This commitment gives the Government the flexibility to work with the provinces and territories and municipalities, and with 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, such as low-income Canadians, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal peoples.

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. The Government's investments are creating jobs, stimulating local economies and improving the quality of life for many Canadians. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, please visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

The availability of safe and stable housing and related supports is an important element in addressing homelessness and helping individuals who are homeless achieve greater self-sufficiency and a better quality of life. The Homelessness Partnering Strategy emphasizes longer-term supportive and transitional housing by focusing on a housing-first approach to help people make the transition out of the cycle of homelessness.

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering 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 61 communities across Canada. The HPS took effect April 1, 2007, with annual funding of $134.8 million for two years, and was extended in 2008 for a further two years until March 31, 2011.

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 not-for-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 Homelessness Partnering 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