Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Government of Saskatchewan

Government of Saskatchewan

October 14, 2009 12:00 ET

Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Helping Those who are Homeless or at Risk of Homelessness in Regina

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Oct. 14, 2009) - The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are helping women and children who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless build a stronger future for themselves.

Mr. Tom Lukiwski, Member of Parliament for Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced federal funding of $892,063 to the YWCA of Regina for its project entitled My Aunt's Place, under the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy and Urban Aboriginal Strategy.

"Our government is supporting many Canadians with housing needs and is fulfilling our commitment to help those seeking to break free from the cycle of homelessness and poverty," said Mr. Lukiwski. "Through this investment, the YWCA of Regina will be able to help women and children in need."

Also today, Ms. Doreen Eagles, Member of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly for Estevan, on behalf of the Honourable Donna Harpauer, Minister of Social Services for Saskatchewan, announced that the Government of Saskatchewan will provide funding of up to $166,725 to My Aunt's Place project for 2009-2010. The Government of Saskatchewan has also committed to fund this project in 2010-2011, based on the shelter's projected occupancy.

This joint funding from the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan will make it possible for the YWCA of Regina to offer transitional housing for homeless women and children through the purchase and renovation of a 20-bed transitional home.

"The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to partner with the Government of Canada and the YWCA of Regina on the My Aunt's Place initiative," said Ms. Eagles. "There is a pressing need for more emergency housing for at-risk single women and women with children in Regina, and the 20 new spaces at My Aunt's Place will make a huge difference in our community and in the lives of the many women and children who will reside there. We will continue to work with community-based organizations such as the YWCA, and with the federal government and municipalities, to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our society have places to live and other supports in times of need."

"Through the Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS), the Government of Canada is building partnerships with the Province, the municipality and Regina's Aboriginal community to develop innovative solutions that address local priorities. My Aunt's Place represents an excellent example of how the UAS brings people together to identify and support community-based projects that make a difference in the lives of urban Aboriginal people," said Mr. Denis Carignan, Regional Director, Urban Aboriginal Strategy.

"It is deeply heartening that, despite economic uncertainties, the needs of the homeless have been recognized by all levels of government and other funding partners. We are very grateful at the YWCA that we are not alone in our commitment to women and children," said Ms. Deanna Elias-Henry, Executive Director, YWCA of Regina.

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 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 Canadians.

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 Homelessness Partnering Strategy, please visit
www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.

Further information on the Government of Saskatchewan's housing and income assistance initiatives is available at http://www.socialservices.gov.sk.ca.

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 to 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 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
    Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services
    Brian Miller
    306-787-0531
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    National Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559