Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

December 19, 2008 10:30 ET

The Government of Canada Helps those who are Homeless in Saskatchewan

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Dec. 19, 2008) - Canada's Government is helping families and individuals in Saskatchewan break free from the cycles of homelessness and poverty and build a stronger future for themselves.

Mr. Ed Komarnicki, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Souris-Moose Mountain, today announced investments in 12 projects in Saskatchewan under the Government's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS).

"Our government is delivering on our commitment to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. We are proud to support community efforts that help find local solutions to local issues," said Mr. Komarnicki, who made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "By investing over $1.7 million in these 12 projects across Saskatchewan, we are supporting community efforts to help those in need."

The announcement took place at the Salvation Army Community Centre in Saskatoon, a shelter, food provider and drop-in centre. The organization is receiving HPS funding to help create 42 emergency shelter beds and six temporary cots for women and children. Individuals will benefit by having a safe place to live in which they can access support services and transition out of homelessness.

"The Salvation Army Women's Shelter will provide a safe and supportive environment for women and children in times of crisis, empowering women to take the necessary steps to obtain safe, secure and long-term stable housing for themselves and their families," said Captain Rhonda Smith, Executive Director of the Salvation Army Community Centre.

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy provides funds over two years to help communities across Canada combat homelessness. The HPS recognizes that housing stability is essential to self-sufficiency and full participation in Canadian society. The Strategy 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, HPS will provide concrete, meaningful and lasting results for Canadians in need.

"Our government is investing more in affordable and supportive housing than any other federal government in Canada's history and, as a result, we are helping tens of thousands of Canadians who are especially vulnerable in the current economic environment," said Mr. Komarnicki.

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. In Budget 2008, the Government committed $110 million for the Commission to develop new, innovative demonstration projects to help Canadians facing mental health and homelessness.


BACKGROUNDER

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) 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 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. Such partnerships would encourage better alignment of federal and provincial/territorial investments, and help to provide a seamless continuum of support 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.

- EXAMPLES OF HOMELESSNESS PARTNERING STRATEGY PROJECTS IN SASKACHEWAN -

Prince Albert

Solar Systems North received $5,000 to provide baseline data for a priority, set by the community, in the 2007 Prince Albert Community Action Plan on Homelessness and Housing. The baseline information will go to the City, emergency shelters and service providers for future planning for housing and services in the community, and to determine if gaps exist in information sharing and referrals.

The YWCA received $410,209 to purchase its existing shelter and renovate it to provide nine new emergency beds for homeless men and women. The organization estimates that about 100 new clients a year will use the facility thanks to the expansion.

Regina

Carmichael Outreach received $43,897 to develop a strategic plan and marketing tools, train a new executive director and purchase food storage equipment, in order to improve service delivery to Regina's homeless.

Gabriel Housing received $479,000 to purchase and renovate a duplex to create two five-bedroom transitional housing units for Aboriginal people affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

John Howard Society received $35,599 to complete development work for a Mentor Model home for five young homeless men 16 to 18 years old.

Rainbow Youth Centre received $208,710 to enhance its drop-in services, creating a support-service centre for at-risk and homeless youth. The centre will connect them with other agencies that can look after their basic needs, such as housing, food, transportation, and life skills. The pilot project will investigate and develop the best model to address gaps in services for youth.

Regina and District Food Bank received $48,000 to renovate its facility and create a discount food area, providing access to quality food at reduced rates for at-risk and hidden homeless families and individuals.

Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region hired a consultant to research and report on gaps in housing and support services for youth, with a $4,500 contribution.

Street Workers Advocacy received $43,600 to improve its service delivery and identify housing options to assist homeless or at-risk youth and adult sex trade workers.

The YWCA received $9,165 to research available resources, and effective programming and housing, and to identify service gaps for homeless women with substance abuse issues.

Saskatoon

The Salvation Army received $450,000 to create a 42-bed emergency shelter, with six temporary cots, for women and children in Saskatoon to help in their transition out of homelessness.

Community University Institute for Social Research received $4,875 to obtain baseline information for 11 of the indicators in the 2007 Saskatoon Community Plan on Housing and Homelessness targets.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    or
    Homelessness Partnering Strategy
    www.homelessness.gc.ca