Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

May 25, 2010 09:00 ET

Government of Canada Helps Those Who Are Homeless or at Risk of Homelessness in Oshawa

OSHAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 25, 2010) - Thanks to support from the Government of Canada, the Simcoe Street United Church's emergency shelter facility will be able to resume its full functions and provide emergency assistance to homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness. Dr. Colin Carrie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Oshawa, made the announcement today 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 those seeking to break free of the cycle of homelessness and poverty," said Dr. Carrie. "We are pleased to support the Simcoe Street United Church so that it can provide important emergency services to those in need in the community of Oshawa."

The Simcoe Street United Church will receive over $126,000 through the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) to renovate a part of the Church that houses the Back Door Mission. The Mission is an emergency shelter that offers basic necessities, such as food, clothing and hygiene products. Renovations to the gym and kitchen were crucial because problems, such as a leaking roof, had forced all operations to stop two years ago.

With these renovations, the Church will be able to resume its activities in a more spacious and comfortable environment. The expansion will allow the Back Door Mission to increase the number of individuals it is able to serve from 300 to 700, and it will now operate five days a week instead of two.

"The Back Door Mission at Simcoe Street United Church is a needs-based service for the poor, homeless and marginalized people in Oshawa," said Rev. David Moore, Minister of the Church. "As such, everyone who comes to the Back Door is treated with respect, kindness and dignity. With the HPS funding, we will not only be able to increase the number of people we are able to help, but also broaden the scope of our work to provide more social interaction and community-building programs and events. This funding gives new life to a special place dedicated to improving quality of life for those on the edge."

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

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 to Canadian municipalities over two years for housing-related infrastructure improvements. The Government's investments are creating jobs, stimulating local economies and improving the quality of life for many Canadians. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, please visit

The availability of safe and 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 Homelessness Partnering Strategy emphasizes longer-term supportive and transitional housing by focusing on a housing-first approach to help people make the transition out of the cycle of homelessness.

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, please visit

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


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 communities across Canada. The HPS took effect April 1, 2007, with annual funding of $134.8 million for two years, and was extended in 2008 for a further two years until March 31, 2011. 

The HPS provides structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless 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. 

By working with all our partners, we will maximize results to make a lasting difference in the lives of vulnerable Canadians. The Homelessness Partnering Strategy provides the support that our community partners are seeking.

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
  • Homeless Individuals and Families Information System 
  • Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the seven funding streams, please visit the following Web site:

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office