Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

June 20, 2008 10:00 ET

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

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 20, 2008) - Young pregnant women and single mothers in Toronto 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.

Senator Consiglio Di Nino, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, is attending today's grand opening of 1900 Sheppard Avenue West, which received more than $2 million in federal homelessness funding for Toronto Community Housing to support people with special housing needs.

"Our government is delivering on its commitment to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless," said Senator Di Nino. "We are proud to support community efforts that help find local solutions to local problems. Through this investment, Toronto Community Housing will be able to implement services needed by young pregnant women and single mothers."

In collaboration with Humewood House and with support from the City of Toronto and the Government of Canada, Toronto Community Housing has designed 1900 Sheppard Avenue West at Jane Street to provide transitional housing for 27 pregnant women and mothers under the age of 25 who require safe and supportive shelter. The four-storey residential facility contains 27 one- and two-bedroom units and includes multipurpose amenity space. The ground floor will be the hub, providing space for meetings and programming for residents and Toronto Community Housing tenants in the immediate area.

The City of Toronto contributed $660,000 in the form of land and waived development charges to the $5.2-million development.

"On behalf of Mayor David Miller and Council, I want to congratulate TCHC, Young Parents No Fixed Address and Humewood House for their dedicated work on this initiative," said Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, Chair, City of Toronto Affordable Housing Committee. "These homes will make a big difference in the lives of young mothers and their children."

"Toronto Community Housing looks beyond the physical structures of housing to create healthy and inclusive communities," said Mr. Derek Ballantyne, Chief Executive Officer of Toronto Community Housing. "Young mothers and women who are pregnant are particularly vulnerable to homelessness and poverty, and with this initiative, we're providing a stable home that supports their and their children's well-being and development."

On February 22, 2008, Minister Solberg announced that 505 projects totalling almost $150 million had been approved under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada

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 Senator Di Nino.

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.

For more information on the City of Toronto's Affordable Housing Office, please visit http://www.toronto.ca/affordablehousing/.

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.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    or
    Toronto Community Housing
    Jeffery Ferrier
    Media Relations
    416-981-4252
    or
    City of Toronto
    Gil Hardy
    Affordable Housing Office
    416-397-4701