Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

April 03, 2009 10:18 ET

Government of Canada Delivers Support Services to Youth at Risk of Homelessness in Charlottetown

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - April 3, 2009) - The Government of Canada is helping those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, including youth, build a stronger future for themselves.

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for Egmont, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today highlighted the recent completion of a Charlottetown Boys and Girls Club project that received federal funding through two HRSDC programs.

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy provided $135,000, through the John Howard Society, to offset the costs of renovation to the Club's Survival Centre. The Job Creation Partnership (JCP) program, funded under the Canada/PEI Labour Market Development Agreement, contributed over $71,000 to hire five Employment-Insurance (EI) eligible individuals as construction labourers on the project.

"Our government is committed to both supporting Canadians in difficult times and helping them contribute to the quality of life in their communities," said Minister Shea. "By providing support services, we are enabling vulnerable youth to achieve self-sufficiency and full participation in society."

"Without the financial support of the federal and provincial Governments, as well as the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty, our Club would not have been able to fund a renovation project of this magnitude," stated Krista O'Brien, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown.

The completed renovations allow the Survival Centre to offer more services to young Islanders, including meals, a gym, broader life-skills training, increased restroom and shower facilities, and improved access to recreation and media room. The building is now fully accessible thanks to the installation of an elevator.

"The Boys and Girls Club provides a very important service to the youth of our community and the Government of PEI is proud to be a partner in the renovation and upgrading of its facility" said Honourable Richard Brown, Provincial Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry. "Investing in Island youth is an investment that always pays off."

The federal government works in partnership with the provinces, municipalities and community stakeholders to improve the effectiveness of federal spending in the area of housing and homelessness and to ensure Canadians get the training, skills and opportunities they need to participate in the work force and contribute to the quality of life in their communities.

"The Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty has worked with the Boys and Girls Club extensively over the past several years. With our focus on Island
Youth, we recognize the fine work carried out by the Boys and Girls Club and we are pleased to have been able to provide funding to help provide a quality environment so that quality programs can be delivered," commented Aidan Sheridan, President of the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty.

In September 2008, the Government of Canada announced $1.9 billion over five years for housing and homelessness programs for low-income Canadians.
This 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 with an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing, and by making available loans of up to $2 billion over two years for housing-related infrastructure improvements.

In addition, through the Economic Action Plan's Skills and Transition Strategy, the government over the next two years will invest $1 billion in Labour Market Development Agreements and $500 million in Labour Market Agreements to help provinces deliver employment, training and skills development programs.


BACKGROUNDER

Established in 1970, the non-profit Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown provides children and youth from all economic, cultural and social backgrounds access to the resources, supports and opportunities to overcome barriers and achieve their positive potential in life. Between September 2, 2008 and February 20, 2009, this project provided five unemployed Canadians with valuable construction-field work experience that will help them obtain and maintain future employment opportunities.

Open five days a week, the Survival Centre delivers a variety of services to Charlottetown youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. These services encourage greater self-sufficiency for its clients and reduce their chance of experiencing homelessness in the future.

The Job Creation Partnership (JCP) program supports projects that create jobs for unemployed, insured individuals that provide opportunities to gain meaningful work experience. While the primary focus is on helping participants, funded projects must also benefit the larger community. JCP is funded through the Canada/PEI Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA), which is co-managed by Service Canada and the provincial Department of Development and Technology. Under the agreement, the federal and provincial governments manage labour market development programs and services in Prince Edward Island. These programs and services are funded by the Government of Canada and delivered by Service Canada through local Service Canada Centres.

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 and was extended for two additional years until March 31 2011. In September 2008, the Government of Canada announced $1.9 billion over five years for housing and homelessness programs for low-income Canadians.

Under the HPS, the Government of Canada is offering to work in partnership with all provinces and territories. Such partnerships would encourage better alignment of federal and provincial/territorial investments, and help provide a seamless continuum of support 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 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.

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

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    National Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559