PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Oct. 12, 2012) - Vulnerable people will have greater access to transitional housing, announced Candice Bergen, Member of Parliament for Portage-Lisgar, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
"Our government is giving a hand-up to Canadians with housing needs and is helping to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty," said Ms. Bergen. "We are pleased to support the Canadian Mental Health Association Central in its efforts to help those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in its community."
"The Canadian Mental Health Association Central thanks the Government of Canada and the other partners for their contributions to this project," said Leisa Miness, Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association Central. "We have had incredible community support throughout this endeavour, and our organization is very pleased to be providing these services and opportunities for people in Portage la Prairie."
The Government of Canada provided over $825,000 through Homelessness Partnering Strategy funding to the Canadian Mental Health Association Central for building a two-storey integrated housing complex. This complex will serve over 70 individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness each year.
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The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to 61 designated communities across Canada.
The HPS took effect April 1, 2007, with annual funding of $134.8 million for two years. In September 2008, the Government committed to investing more than $1.9 billion in housing and homelessness programs over five years, until March 2014. This includes a renewal of the HPS until March 2014.
As of August 21, 2012, a total of 2 196 approved projects totalling over $721 million have been funded under the HPS to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada.
The HPS provides structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness achieve self-sufficiency and full participation in society. This model seeks to address homelessness by working in partnership with the provinces and territories, other federal departments, as well as with communities and the private and not-for-profit sectors.
The availability of safe, stable housing and related supports is an important element in addressing homelessness and helping individuals who are homeless achieve greater self-sufficiency and a better quality of life. The Government's investments are creating jobs, stimulating local economies and improving the quality of life for many Canadians.
By working with all our partners, we will maximize results to make a lasting difference in the lives of vulnerable Canadians. The HPS provides the support that our community partners are seeking.
The HPS encourages a housing-first approach, which recognizes that housing stability is an important first step in addressing homelessness, and is necessary for the success of other interventions such as education and training, life skills development or management of mental health issues.
For more information on the HPS and the seven funding streams, visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.