Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

April 23, 2008 16:00 ET

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

MAPLE RIDGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 23, 2008) - Families and individuals in Maple Ridge 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. Randy Kamp, Member of Parliament for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today celebrated almost $680,000 in funding for two projects for the Alouette Home Start Society 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 Mr. Kamp. "We are proud to support community efforts that help find local solutions to local problems. 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."

Funding of $558,123 for the first project will be used to support the Iron Horse Youth Safe House, a five-bed emergency youth shelter that provides comprehensive supports, services and programs to youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the Ridge Meadows area. Funding of $120,073 for the second project will allow the Alouette Home Start Society to hire two community outreach workers to provide support services, develop action plans and assist hard-to-reach or disconnected people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the Ridge Meadows area.

"The Alouette Home Start Society is very pleased to continue our partnership with all levels of government in providing much-needed services to the homeless in our community," said Ms. Sheila McLaughlin, President of the Alouette Home Start Society. "The Iron Horse Youth Safe House continues to provide youth with support to make positive choices in their lives, while the outreach workers help the marginalized people on our streets connect with the services they need."

"It was very clear several years ago, as it is today, that many youth who are facing challenges in their lives need a positive alternative to living in vulnerable situations on the street or couch surfing," said Acting Mayor Linda King. "The Iron Horse Youth Safe House has provided an amazing 24/7 resource to those youth. The District is happy to be a partner in addressing this very real need."

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

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 Mr. Kamp.

The link between homelessness and mental illness is well established. In 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the first-ever Mental Health Commission of Canada, and in Budget 2008, the Government 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.

Contact Information

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