Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

June 26, 2008 13:00 ET

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

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - June 26, 2008) - Individuals in Saskatoon 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. Bradley Trost, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Humboldt, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced over $230,000 in funding for the Central Urban Metis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) 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. Trost. "We are proud to support community efforts that help find local solutions to local problems. Through this investment, CUMFI will be able to implement services that help those in need."

The announcement was made at the new CUMFI office on Avenue M South. The organization offers emergency, transitional and supportive housing as well as health counselling and referral services to Aboriginal families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Saskatoon. This funding allowed CUMFI to purchase land and a new office building to centralize its services. This new location provides CUMFI with a cost-efficient, safe and secure environment for its clients, and allows the organization to provide additional services and increase its client base to nearly 13,700 people annually.

"CUMFI's new office building provides us with a permanent base for the delivery of the social programs and services we provide to the Aboriginal people in Saskatoon," said Ms. Shirley Isbister, President of CUMFI. "Our vision has always been to have a community resource centre, and thanks to community and government support, we are well on our way."

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. Trost.

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 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 (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