Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

February 21, 2013 16:30 ET

Government of Canada Helps Vulnerable People in Calgary

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 21, 2013) - The Government of Canada is providing support for people with disabilities at risk of homelessness in Calgary to help them integrate into the workforce. The announcement was made by Devinder Shory, Member of Parliament for Calgary Northeast, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Our government is helping vulnerable Canadians reach their full potential and participate actively in their communities," said Mr. Shory. "Through partnerships with organizations such as the Community Kitchen Program, we are helping people break free from the cycle of homelessness and poverty, and helping individuals with disabilities maximize their potential and independence."

The Community Kitchen Program is receiving over $369,000 from the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and over $238,000 from the Opportunities Fund for People with Disabilities.

The support will enable people with disabilities who are at risk of homelessness to develop skills that will help them find work. Workshops will teach skills ranging from interpersonal skills, résumé writing and computer literacy to occupational certifications in first aid, food safety, and forklift operation. Participants will also receive on-the-job training, primarily in the culinary and warehouse fields, as well as ongoing monitored support. The program will establish a sustainable model that could be used to help those facing similar challenges in other communities.

"The Community Kitchen Program of Calgary is grateful for the support of the federal government," said Marilyn Gunn, CEO and Founder of the Community Kitchen Program. "This funding will provide job opportunities to mental health clients, helping them break free of the cycle of homelessness while at the same time creating a model that can be used by other communities."

Canadians with disabilities have a tremendous amount to offer employers but they remain under-represented in the workforce. That is why the Government of Canada, through Economic Action Plan 2012, is investing an additional $30 million in the Opportunities Fund to help more people with disabilities gain the hands-on experience they need to find jobs.

In addition, as part of Economic Action Plan 2012, Minister Finley and the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, announced the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The panel identified private-sector successes and best practices, as well as barriers regarding the participation of people with disabilities in the labour market.

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 supports 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.

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

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities

The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities assists people with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep employment or become self-employed. The Government of Canada invests $30 million annually through this program to connect individuals with the skills and work experience needed to participate fully in the economy.

For more information, or to propose a project, visit

Contact Information

  • Marian Ngo
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Finley

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada