Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

February 22, 2008 11:20 ET

The Government of Canada Delivers Support to Help Those Who are Homeless in Canada

HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2008) - Canadian families and individuals working to break free from homelessness and poverty and build a stronger future for themselves are getting help from the Government of Canada.

The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, announced today funding of 505 projects worth almost $150 million across Canada under the government's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS). He was joined by David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, who announced details of HPS projects in the Hamilton area.

"Our government is delivering on its commitment to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless," said Minister Solberg. "We are proud to support community efforts across Canada. Working together, we can help our most vulnerable citizens find a place to call home as well as find the supports they need to become more self-sufficient."

"Here in Hamilton, there is a feeling of optimism because having a stable home and access to support services, such as employment and life-skills training, is the first step towards fully participating in our community," added Mr. Sweet.

The announcement took place at the Good Shepherd Family Centre, an organization receiving HPS funding, located at 143 Wentworth Street South.

"The Homelessness Partnering Strategy is providing an important opportunity for many individuals and families to end homelessness," said Bro. Richard MacPhee, Executive Director of Good Shepherd. "Good Shepherd commends the Federal Government for its substantial investment in affordable and supportive housing. Nothing is more fundamental in life than a place to call home."

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy is providing $269.6 million over two years to help communities across Canada combat homelessness more effectively. The Strategy focuses on a housing-first approach to end homelessness, recognizing that housing stability is essential to self-sufficiency and full participation in Canadian society. With its clear goals of improved partnerships, enhanced sustainability and tangible results, the new 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 government in history. We are currently spending more that $2.7 billion annually," added Minister Solberg.

Since its inception on April 1, 2007, the HPS has funded 505 projects across Canada totalling over $149.7 million. This amount includes approximately $9 million for HPS-related projects in Hamilton, funding which is currently being delivered by two community entities-the City of Hamilton and the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton.

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, the Homelessness Accountability Network and the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative.

The Homelessness Partnership Initiative (HPI) 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.


Progress on the HPS to date

- The HPS replaced the National Homelessness Initiative. Within a few weeks of the HPS's onset, 315 projects totalling $46 million dollars were approved to continue to provide essential services to homeless people across Canada.

- Throughout 2007, community stakeholders in designated communities prepared new HPS community plans for their respective regions. The community plan identifies gaps and establishes priorities for addressing homelessness issues in a region. Distinct Aboriginal Communities and Outreach Communities funding streams are also available to meet the acute and unique needs of homeless Aboriginal people and to fill specific gaps in rural infrastructure to address homelessness.

- To date, 505 projects totalling over $149.7 million have been approved to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada.

Contact Information

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