Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

September 30, 2009 13:19 ET

Government of Canada Helping Youth Who Are Homeless or at Risk of Homelessness in Saskatoon

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2009) - The Government of Canada is working with the Province of Saskatchewan to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless build a stronger future for themselves.

Mr. Maurice Vellacott, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced that the Government is investing in transitional housing for youth in Saskatoon through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

"Our government is working to give a hand up to Canadians facing unique challenges," said Mr. Vellacott. "Through this investment, the Saskatoon Downtown Youth Centre will be able to purchase and renovate two homes, providing ten transitional beds for youth in Saskatoon who are homeless or at risk of homelessness."

The Government provided an investment of $347,280 under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy for the Saskatoon Downtown Youth Centre's My Homes Program. The Province of Saskatchewan contributed $300,000, with additional funding supplied by local businesses. The total cost to complete the project is just under $750,000.

"Our government is pleased to partner with another level of government and the private sector to help build brighter futures for vulnerable Saskatchewan youth," said the Honourable Donna Harpauer, provincial Minister of Social Services and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation. "Stable, quality housing is a basic need that we all share, and is critical to improving overall quality of life. This is another step towards strengthening the Province's child welfare system."

"It is a real honour for the Saskatoon Downtown Youth Centre Inc. to be involved in this partnership," said Mr. Don Meikle, Director of Housing and Outreach Services at the Youth Centre. "Together with the Government of Canada, the Province of Saskatchewan, local business, and our community, we are creating a continuum of housing for our most vulnerable children and youth in Saskatoon."

In September 2008, the Government of Canada announced $1.9 billion over five years 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 the private and not-for-profit sectors 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-including low-income Canadians, seniors, people with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal peoples in need of support.

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 Homelessness Partnering Strategy recognizes that housing and employment stability are essential to self-sufficiency and full participation in Canadian society. With its clear goals of improved partnerships, enhanced sustainability and tangible results, the Strategy provides concrete, meaningful and lasting results for Canadians in need.

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 more than 60 communities across Canada. The HPS took effect April 1, 2007, with annual funding of $134.8 million for two years. On September 4, 2008, the Government of Canada announced that it was extending funding for the HPS at current levels ($269 million) for two years, from April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2011. Funding for housing and homelessness programs has been extended for another five years, until March 31, 2014.

Under the HPS, the Government of Canada is offering to work in partnership with all provinces and territories. Such partnerships would encourage better alignment of federal and provincial/territorial investments, and help provide a seamless continuum of support for homeless people and those at risk of homelessness.

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
    National Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559