Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

March 26, 2008 14:00 ET

The Government of Canada Delivers Support for Homeless People in British Columbia

COQUITLAM, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 26, 2008) - Vulnerable individuals in British Columbia working to break free from the cycles of homelessness and poverty and build a stronger future for themselves are getting help from the Government of Canada.

Mr. James Moore, Member of Parliament for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today provided details of Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding support of $147,819 for the Hope for Freedom Society's Tri-Cities Cold Wet Weather shelter project.

"Our government is delivering on our commitment to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless," said Mr. Moore. "We are proud to support local projects like this one, which will assist vulnerable people in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody with 7-days a week service and free transportation to shelters."

The celebration took place at the Eagle Ridge Bible Centre in Port Coquitlam. The Homelessness Partnering Strategy funding is helping to provide emergency shelter support services during the cold wet weather seasons in the Tri-Cities areas of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody. The Hope for Freedom Society operates the homelessness shelter on a rotational basis at five local churches in the Tri-Cities area.

"The shelter program has met and exceeded all expectations, not only providing warmth, food, companionship and safe overnight accommodation during the winter months to homeless persons, but also raising awareness of homelessness in the
Tri-Cities and engaging hundreds of volunteers in a caring response to their needs," said Mr. Rob C. Thiessen, Managing Director of the Hope for Freedom Society.

On February 22, 2008, Minister Solberg announced that 505 projects totalling almost $150 million have been approved since April 1, 2007, under the HPS to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. The funding announced today is part of that total figure.

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy is providing $269.6 million over two years to help communities across Canada combat homelessness more effectively.

The Strategy recognizes that housing stability is essential to self-sufficiency and full participation in Canadian society. It focuses on transitional and supportive housing as important measures to help people overcome homelessness. With its clear goals of improved partnerships, enhanced sustainability and tangible results, the Strategy will provide concrete, meaningful and lasting results for Canadians in need.

"Our government will invest more in affordable and supportive housing this year than any federal government in Canada's history. As a result, we are helping tens of thousands of Canadians reach a better more stable life," said Mr. Moore.

The link between homelessness and mental illness is well established. In 2007, the Prime Minister of Canada announced the first-ever Canadian Mental Health Commission, and in Budget 2008 we committed $110 million for the Commission to develop new innovative demonstration projects that will help Canadians facing mental health and homelessness challenges.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, please visit www.homelessness.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Solberg
    Pema Lhalungpa
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559