Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

April 06, 2009 16:00 ET

Government of Canada Helping Homeless Youth in North Vancouver

NORTH VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 6, 2009) - The Government of Canada is helping youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless build a stronger future for themselves.

Mr. Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, 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 invest in emergency and transitional housing through the Hollyburn Family Services Society in North Vancouver.

"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 Mr. Saxton. "Through this investment, the Hollyburn Family Services Society will be able to put into action support services that will help youth in need."

With the Homelessness Partnering Strategy investment of $802,702, the North Shore Youth Safe House, operated by the Hollyburn Family Services Society, will provide a four-bed emergency shelter and a two-bed transitional supportive housing unit for youth. The shelter will offer support to youth 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Services also include development of life skills, personal counselling, addiction counselling and employment coaching.

"The District of North Vancouver is pleased to be partners with the Hollyburn Family Services Society and the Government of Canada in providing critical services for youth in need in the North Shore area," said His Worship Richard Walton, Mayor of North Vancouver.

"We are grateful for the continuing support of the Government of Canada in this project," said Mr. Alan Kwinter, Executive Director, Hollyburn Family Services Society. "This funding will help the Hollyburn Family Services Society provide shelter for the North Shore's most vulnerable youth-those without a safe place to sleep."

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 loans of up to $2 billion over two years for housing-related infrastructure improvements.

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.


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/.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

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