Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

March 31, 2009 15:26 ET

Government of Canada Helping Youth Who Are Homeless or at Risk of Homelessness in Calgary

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 31, 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 Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre-North, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced that Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding will be used to offer transitional housing through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary.

"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. Through this investment, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary will be able to help youth in need," said Minister Prentice.

"We are very pleased to receive federal support for our transitional housing project," said Ms. Ronni Abraham, Director of Services for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary. "This program will assist youth who are homeless to be housed while they work to stabilize other aspects of their lives through employment, education and counselling. It interrupts a cycle of homelessness that can haunt youth well into their adult years, and provides them with the chance to put their lives on the best possible track."

With this HPS investment of more than $126,000, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary will offer 14 supported transitional beds for up to 16 homeless youth aged 16 to 24, to help them live independently and to decrease the reoccurrence of homelessness.

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 allows the flexibility to work with provinces, 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 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.

The HPS 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.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

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


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. It has been extended for two additional years from April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2011.

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/.

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