Government of Canada

Government of Canada


October 19, 2006 10:00 ET

New Transitional Homes Open for Homeless People

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2006) - Representatives from the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto today joined guests, tenants and community supporters to celebrate the official opening of the new Evangel Hall Mission. The relocated and expanded facility offers 84 transitional and affordable homes and support services for people who are homeless or at-risk of being homeless.

This $13.2 million project received nearly $3 million from the Government of Canada's Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI), and $671,482 annually for 83 rent supplements under the Government of Ontario's Strong Communities Rent Supplement Program. In addition, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) mortgage loan insurance facilitated financing of this project. The City of Toronto provided a $1.95 million loan through the Capital Revolving Fund.

Attending today's ceremony were Beverly Bowman, Director, Service Canada; Sean Gadon, Director, Partnerships, Affordable Housing Office, City of Toronto; and the Reverend Karen S. Bach, Evangel Hall Mission.

"Canada's new government is proud to provide Evangel Hall with the resources they need to offer vital services like shelter, food, and medical care to those struggling with homelessness," said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. "Projects like Evangel Hall will provide many homeless men and women in Toronto with hope, dignity and a path to a more secure future."

"The McGuinty government firmly believes that every person in this province has the right to safe, healthy, affordable shelter," said the Honourable John Gerretsen, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "This project represents more than bricks and mortar: it represents a chance for a new start for the people who will call Evangel Hall home."

"Evangel Hall has a long and respected history of helping some of our most vulnerable residents," said Sean Gadon, Director, Partnerships, City of Toronto Affordable Housing Office. "The City is proud to be a partner in this initiative, which will help ensure this important work continues. It's also a great example of how important SCPI funding is to Toronto's affordable housing program."

Since 1913, Evangel Hall Mission has provided support programs for impoverished and distressed people in downtown Toronto. Throughout its history, its programs have always evolved to meet the needs of the community, including meal service, daycare for children and English as Second Language classes.

Evangel Hall Mission now provides affordable housing and support for over 130 people and several community programs, including a drop-in centre, community dinners and groups for men, women and youth. The Presbyterian Church in Canada has been a vital partner in its work.

"This new facility represents an incredible leap forward for the Hall, providing 84 new homes and larger spaces for our support programs," said the Reverend Karen S. Bach, President, Evangel Hall Mission Board of Directors. Members of our programs and residence alike have been delighted with the new facility, and we've already seen significant growth in our community programs."

The Government of Canada launched the National Homelessness Initiative (NHI) in December 1999 to support communities' efforts to help the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless. As part of the NHI, the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative is continuing to make a difference by encouraging the development of flexible, community-driven solutions to help alleviate homelessness and support those who are at risk of homelessness.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national housing agency for over 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country.

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