Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

February 20, 2013 09:30 ET

Government of Canada Helps Youth Who Are Homeless or at Risk of Homelessness in New Brunswick

SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwire - Feb. 20, 2013) - The First Steps Housing Project Inc. in Saint John will gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of its youth homelessness program, as a result of Homelessness Partnering Strategy funding. Rodney Weston, Member of Parliament for Saint John, 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 vulnerable Canadians to help them meet certain basic needs and break free from the cycle of homelessness and poverty," said Mr. Weston. "We are pleased to support the First Steps Housing Project Inc. in its efforts to find local solutions for those who are homeless".

First Steps Housing Project Inc. provides support to pregnant or parenting young women and their children who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. They will use Homelessness Partnering Strategy funding of $80,000 to assess the social and financial benefits of their youth homelessness program using a framework that they developed.

This evaluation, among the first of its kind in Canada, may serve as a model for other service providers to determine the impact of their respective programs.

"We have been truly grateful for the support of the federal government," said Sharon Amirault, Executive Director of First Steps Housing Project Inc. "With this new funding, we will be able to undertake an evaluation project that will help ensure we are offering the best possible service to young women and children. We want to see the true social return on investing in these young families and we know an assessment of our programs will paint a more comprehensive picture for our clients, community and funders".

In September 2008, the Government committed to more than $1.9 billion in housing and homelessness programs over five years. As part of this commitment, the Government of Canada has renewed the Homelessness Partnering Strategy until March 2014.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

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Homelessness Partnering Strategy

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 on 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. This includes a renewal of the HPS until March 2014.

Since the launch of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) in April 2007, the Government has approved over $732 million for 2 232 projects to prevent and reduce homelessness across Canada.

The HPS provides structures and support that help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to achieve self-sufficiency and participate fully in society. This model seeks to address homelessness by working in partnership with the provinces and territories and 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, recognizing that housing stability is an important first step in addressing homelessness. It is also necessary for the success of other interventions such as education and training, the development of life skills and the management of mental health issues.

For more information on the HPS and the seven funding streams, please visit

Contact Information

  • Marian Ngo
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Finley

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada