Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

March 18, 2008 12:30 ET

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

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - March 18, 2008) - Families and individuals in Saskatchewan working to break free from homelessness and poverty and build a stronger future for themselves are getting help from the Government of Canada.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich, Parliamentary Secretary and Member of Parliament for Blackstrap, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced that during the first year of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), the Government has funded 19 projects worth over $3.6 million in Saskatchewan.

"Our government is delivering on its commitment to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in Saskatchewan," said Mrs. Yelich. "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 announcement took place at the Saskatoon Downtown Youth Centre, which is more commonly known as EGADZ. The organization is receiving $242,953 in HPS funding to purchase and renovate two buildings to create additional space for youth who are homeless due to their complex needs.

"Funding for projects in the Community Plan will allow us to be proactive and reduce the number of homeless people in Saskatoon. As a community, we strive to ensure that homeless people have the services they need," said Mr. Jim Wasilenko, Chair of the Saskatoon Homelessness Advisory Committee.

On February 22, 2008, Minister Solberg announced that 505 projects totalling almost $150 million have been approved since April 1, 2007, under the HPS to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. The announcement today is part of that total figure.

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy 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 Mrs. Yelich.

The link between homelessness and mental illness is wellestablished. With Budget 2008, the Government is committed to developing solutions that will save lives by providing $110 million to the Mental Health Commission of Canada to support innovative demonstration projects to develop best practices to help Canadians facing mental health and homelessness challenges.

Examples of some of the ongoing HPS-funded projects in Saskatchewan are included in the attached backgrounder.

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 provinces and territories. Once put in place, such partnerships would encourage better alignment of federal and provincial/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.



BACKGROUNDER

- EXAMPLES OF HOMELESSNESS PARTNERING STRATEGY PROJECTS IN SASKATCHEWAN -


- The Saskatoon Housing Coalition received $37,500 to obtain preliminary architectural drawings for the construction of a supportive housing facility that will provide housing and supports to single adults who are absolutely or relatively homeless and who have been diagnosed with mental illness. The supports are intended to assist the mentally ill residents in becoming self-sufficient and independent.

- The University of Regina received $153,286 to coordinate and facilitate the implementation of a Regina Homeless Individual and Family Information System, and to gather data to develop strategies to provide more effective services to the city's homeless. Regina's homeless individuals and families will benefit through improved service delivery.

- Street Culture Kidz Project Inc. in Regina received $436,848 to purchase, renovate and furnish a duplex-style house. The project will create two 4- or 5-bedroom supportive housing units for single, homeless young women between 15 to 24 years of age. Within these supportive homes, one live-in house parent and two mentors will build relationships with the youth for support and guidance.

- Aboriginal Family Services in Regina received $8,000 to complete pre-development activities to determine the viability and sustainability of a supportive housing facility that would serve 7 to 12 homeless individuals, or couples, with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other cognitive disabilities.

- The Salvation Army in Prince Albert received $300,000 to purchase land and construct a facility for single homeless women in the community between the ages of 16 and 30 who are being sexually exploited.

- The City of North Battleford received $599,000 to purchase land and construct an assessment and stabilization facility for Aboriginal youth between the ages of 10 and 15 who have run from their family home, or from foster care, and are living on the street, or couch surfing.

Contact Information

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