Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

July 16, 2008 12:15 ET

The Government of Canada Delivers Support to Combat Homelessness in Saskatoon

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - July 16, 2008) - Families and individuals in Saskatoon 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.

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced funding for three projects worth over $434,000 in Saskatoon under the Government's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS).

"Our government is delivering on its commitment to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless," said Minister Ambrose. "We are proud to support community efforts that help find local solutions to local problems. Through this investment, the Western Region Metis Women's Association (WRMWA), the Quint Development Corporation, and the Rainbow Community Centre will be able to implement services that help those in need."

"The Homelessness Partnering Strategy brings a feeling of optimism here in Saskatoon, and throughout the country," said the Honourable Carol Skelton, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar. "Having a stable home and access to support services is the first step towards fully participating in our communities."

The announcement took place at the WRMWA in Saskatoon, which is receiving over $400,000 in HPS funding. The organization will create five transitional housing units in Saskatoon for homeless women with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other cognitive disabilities, and will assist in their transition to stability and independence.

"The Western Region Metis Women's Association is pleased to be a partner in providing options for transitional housing for people affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder" said Shirley Isbister, Vice-president of WRMWA . "This approach allows for as normal a lifestyle as possible with supports in place to provide a sense of community."

The HPS 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 is investing more in affordable and supportive housing than any federal government in Canada's history, and as a result, we are helping tens of thousands of Canadians reach a better, more stable life," said Minister Ambrose.

The link between homelessness and mental illness is well established. In 2007, the Prime Minister of Canada announced the first-ever Mental Health Commission of Canada, 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.



BACKGROUNDER


The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) began on April 1, 2007. The Strategy is providing $269.6 million over two years to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. The HPS is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness in Canada by providing funding and direct support to more than 60 communities across Canada.

Under the HPS, the Government of Canada is offering to work in partnership with all provinces and territories. Once put in place, such partnerships would encourage better alignment of federal and provincial/territorial investments, and help to provide a seamless continuum of supports 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 to 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.



BACKGROUNDER

EXAMPLES OF HOMELESSNESS PARTNERING STRATEGY PROJECTS IN SASKATOON


- Western Region Metis Women's Association (WRMWA) received over $400,000 to create five transitional housing units in Saskatoon for homeless women with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other cognitive disabilities, and will assist in their transition to stability and independence.

- The Quint Development Corporation will use the funding of over $22,000 to engage renters and landlords to design a successful eviction prevention model to stabilize low-income renters who face barriers and are at risk of homelessness.

- The Rainbow Community Centre received just under $10,000 to install a concrete wheelchair ramp and construct a new front entrance facade including an electronic door opening mechanism and a keypad security entrance to ensure their facility is accessible to all homeless and at risk individuals.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559