Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

March 27, 2008 15:00 ET

The Government of Canada Delivers Support to Help Those Who are Homeless in Grande Prairie

GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 27, 2008) - Families and individuals in Grande Prairie working to break free from the cycles of homelessness and poverty and build a stronger future for themselves are getting help from the Government of Canada.

Mr. Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Peace River, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today celebrated two projects in Grande Prairie that received funding worth almost $545,000 under the Government's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS).

"Our government is delivering on its commitment to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless," said Mr. Warkentin. "We are proud to support community efforts that help find local solutions to local problems. By making this investment, the City of Grande Prairie will be able to implement two projects that will help to address the community's needs and priorities in combatting homelessness."

The event was hosted by the City of Grande Prairie, at City Hall.

"The City of Grande Prairie has been very pleased with the partnership with the federal government. The federal funds have been valuable in supporting projects designed to ease the situation of the homeless in our community," said Mayor Dwight Logan. "I want to offer my sincerest thanks and appreciation to our Member of Parliament, Mr. Chris Warkentin, for his able assistance. More work is needed on this problem, and I feel we are best able to handle the homeless situations with such partnerships as this."

The first project, Designated Communities, is valued at more than $340,000 and will support ongoing efforts to combat homelessness. The second initiative, Aboriginal Communities, is valued at more than $204,000 and is aimed at assisting Aboriginal individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the area. Funds from these two projects have assisted with the operation of the SOS Van for the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre, the updating and printing of the Street Survival Guide for the Family and Community Support Services, the publication of the Second Story newsletter, which is in the newspaper today, the hiring of a Youth Outreach coordinator and counsellor at Sunrise House, and the continued support of the homeSHARE program.

On February 22, 2008, Minister Solberg announced that 505 projects totalling almost $150 million had been approved under the HPS to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. The announcement made today is part of this total funding.

The HPS is providing $269.6 million over two years to help communities across Canada combat homelessness more effectively. The Strategy recognizes that housing stability is essential to self-sufficiency and full participation in Canadian society. It focuses on transitional and supportive housing as important measures to help people overcome homelessness. With its clear goals of improved partnerships, enhanced sustainability and tangible results, the Strategy will provide concrete, meaningful and lasting results for Canadians in need.

"Our government is investing more in affordable and supportive housing than any federal government in Canada's history, and as a result we are helping tens of thousands of Canadians reach a better, more stable life," said Mr. Warkentin.

The link between homelessness and mental illness is well established. In 2007, the Prime Minister of Canada announced the first-ever Mental Health Commission of Canada, and in Budget 2008, we committed $110 million for the Commission to develop new innovative demonstration projects that will help Canadians facing mental health and homelessness challenges.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, please visit www.homelessness.gc.ca.


BACKGROUNDER


The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) began on April 1, 2007. The Strategy is providing $269.6 million over two years to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. The HPS is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness in Canada by providing funding and direct support to more than 60 communities across Canada.

Under the HPS, the Government of Canada is offering to work in partnership with all the provinces and territories. Once put in place, such partnerships would encourage better alignment of federal, provincial and territorial investments, and help to provide a seamless continuum of supports for homeless people.

The HPS has three main initiatives: the Homelessness Partnership Initiative, the Homelessness Accountability Network and the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative.

The Homelessness Partnership Initiative (HPI) is the cornerstone of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy. Its housing-first approach recognizes that the first step is to provide individuals with transitional and supportive housing.

The HPI has four funding components:

- Designated Communities

- Outreach Communities

- Aboriginal Communities

- Federal Horizontal Pilot Projects

The Homelessness Accountability Network helps to strengthen program accountability. It also develops knowledge and encourages organizations to reinforce their networks and share best practices.

The Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative makes surplus federal property as well as land available to community organizations, the not-for-profit sector and other levels of government for projects to prevent and reduce homelessness.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559