Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services

Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services

April 15, 2009 13:00 ET

Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan Support the Development of Transitional Housing for Youth in Regina

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - April 15, 2009) - The Government of Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan are helping those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless build a stronger future for themselves.

Mr. Ray Boughen, Member of Parliament for Palliser, 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 purchase and develop a six-bedroom transitional housing unit for homeless youth in Regina.

"Our government is supporting many Canadians with housing needs and fulfilling our commitment to help those seeking to break free of the cycle of homelessness and poverty. By providing essential services, we are enabling vulnerable individuals to achieve self-sufficiency and full participation in society," said Mr. Boughen.

"Our government is pleased to partner with the Government of Canada and the John Howard Society to develop and operate Robert's Place, a peer home for at-risk youth in Regina," Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Hutchinson said, on behalf of Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer. "The home will provide much-needed services to boys, ages 12 to 15, who require stable housing and a safe home environment. Through the Ministry of Social Services, the Province of Saskatchewan will provide more than $300,000 annually in operational funding to the John Howard Society for this important initiative."

"As an organization that provides services to youth, we are well aware of the need for support and programming for young people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, and having access to safe, secure housing is a fundamental part of building a healthy community," said Mr. Jim Warner, Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Saskatchewan.

The federal investment of $326,525 under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy will help the John Howard Society purchase and develop a six-bedroom transitional housing unit for male youth, primarily of Aboriginal descent.

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 allows the flexibility to work with provinces, 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 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 with 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 HPS 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.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


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. Funding for housing and homelessness programs has been extended for another five years, until March 31, 2014.

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/.

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
    or
    Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services
    Brian Miller
    306-787-0531