Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

June 02, 2009 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Helping Those who are Homeless or at Risk of Homelessness in Burnaby

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 2, 2009) - The Government of Canada is helping those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless build a stronger future for themselves.

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade, Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and Member of Parliament for Okanagan - Coquihalla, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced that Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding will be used by the Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC) to support the development of lessons learned from the Metro Vancouver Homelessness Count in Burnaby.

"Our government is supporting many Canadians with housing needs, and is fulfilling its commitment to help those seeking to break free of the cycle of homelessness and poverty," said Minister Day. "Through this investment, SPARC BC will help generate new knowledge about conducting homelessness counts."

With this investment of $16,841 SPARC BC will carry out a study identifying the best practices and lessons learned in conducting homelessness counts. This study will look at the approach utilized in the Metro Vancouver Homeless Count and identify aspects which could be replicated in other Canadian cities.

"The Metro Vancouver Homeless Count (MVHC) is a valuable approach to addressing the problem of homelessness in Metro Vancouver and with this support from HPS, we will be able to identify ways of strengthening the current method," said Senior Researcher Scott Graham of SPARC BC. "It is a good time to examine the efficacy of the MVHC more broadly, both from a methodological and implementation perspective, particularly in light of the scope of issues raised in the last count and the existence of alternative homeless count approaches and data sources."

In September 2008, the Government of Canada announced $1.9 billion over five years for housing and homelessness programs for low-income Canadians. This commitment provides the Government with the flexibility to work with the provinces and territories, municipalities and charitable organizations to develop ways to improve the effectiveness of federal spending in the area of housing and homelessness.

This ongoing 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 by making an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing, and by making available up to $2 billion in loans available to Canadian municipalities over two years for housing-related infrastructure improvements. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy recognizes that housing and employment stability are essential to self-sufficiency and full participation in Canadian society. With its clear goals of improved partnerships, enhanced sustainability and tangible results, the Strategy provides concrete, meaningful and lasting results for Canadians in need.

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

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


BACKGROUNDER

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. Funding for housing and homelessness programs has been extended for another five years, until March 31, 2014.

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 and those at risk of homelessness.

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy uses a housing-first approach, recognizing that the first step is to provide individuals with transitional and supportive housing.

The HPS has seven funding streams:

Regionally Delivered:

- Designated Communities

- Outreach Communities

- Aboriginal Communities

Nationally Delivered:

- Federal Horizontal Pilot Projects

- Homelessness Knowledge Development (HKD)

- Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS)

- Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative (SFRPHI)

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the seven funding streams, please visit the following: www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.

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