Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

April 22, 2008 13:00 ET

The Government of Canada Delivers Support to Help Those Who Are Homeless in New Westminster

NEW WESTMINSTER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 22, 2008) - Vulnerable individuals in New Westminster 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.

Ms. Nina Grewal, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood-Port Kells, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today celebrated funding of almost $180,000 that was provided to the Shiloh-Sixth Avenue United Church under the federal government's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) for a project to help people in New Westminster.

"Our government is delivering on its commitment to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless," said Ms. Grewal. "We are proud to support community efforts that help find local solutions to local problems. Working together, we can help our most vulnerable citizens find a place to call home as well as find the supports they need to become more self-sufficient."

The Shiloh-Sixth Avenue United Church received the homelessness funding to help deliver services at its resource and drop-in centre, Hospitality Project. Specifically, the organization provides comprehensive information and outreach services to assist people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in stabilizing their lives.

"The Hospitality Project is part of the homelessness strategy that encompasses a continuum of services," said Ms. Kimiko Karpoff, community/ecumenical minister at Shiloh-Sixth and coordinator of the Hospitality Project. "We have a community resource worker who can help people in critical need, plus many short- and long-term services that support families."

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 Ms. Grewal.

The link between homelessness and mental illness is well established. In 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the first-ever Mental Health Commission of Canada, and in Budget 2008, the Government 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 (HPI), the Homelessness Accountability Network and the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative.

The Homelessness Partnership Initiative 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