Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

March 20, 2008 12:00 ET

Youth in Moose Jaw Get Support From the Government of Canada

MOOSE JAW, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - March 20, 2008) - Youth in Saskatchewan who are working to break free from the cycles of homelessness, substance abuse and poverty in order to build a stronger future for themselves are getting help from the Government of Canada.

Mr. Dave Batters, Member of Parliament for Palliser, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced Homelessness Partnering Strategy funding of $238,280 for the Salvation Army's Hope Inn supportive housing project for youth struggling with substance abuse issues.

"Our government supports vulnerable young people by helping them get back on their feet when they are having a difficult time," said MP Batters. "We are proud to support community efforts that help find local solutions to local situations."

The Salvation Army received the homelessness funding to purchase, renovate, and furnish a supportive housing facility that will serve homeless and high-risk youth struggling with substance abuse. The facility, the Hope Inn, will provide youth with a safe and supportive environment where they will have the opportunity to become more self-sufficient.

"This home will be a safe place to continue dealing with their addictions and moving to independent living with the support of the community," said Major Don Law of the Salvation Army in Moose Jaw. "It is exciting to see two levels of government, the Five Hills Health Region, and the City of Moose Jaw, its schools and non-profit groups all work together to bring this home to Moose Jaw."

On February 22, 2008, Minister Solberg announced that 505 projects totalling almost $150 million have been approved since April 1, 2007 under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. The announcement today is part of that total figure.

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy 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 other federal government in Canada's history. As a result, we are helping tens of thousands of Canadians reach a better more stable life," said Mr. Batters.

The link between homelessness and mental illness is well-established. With Budget 2008, the Government is committed to developing solutions that will save lives by providing $110 million to the Mental Health Commission of Canada to support innovative demonstration projects to develop best practices to help Canadians facing mental health and homelessness challenges.

For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, please visit
www.homelessness.gc.ca.

A list of some of the ongoing HPS-funded projects in Saskatchewan are included in the following backgrounder.


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.

EXAMPLES OF HOMELESSNESS PARTNERING STRATEGY PROJECTS IN SASKATCHEWAN

- The Salvation Army in Moose Jaw received $238,280 to purchase, renovate, and furnish a supportive housing facility that will serve homeless and high-risk youth with substance abuse issues. The facility will provide youth with a safe and supportive environment where they will have the opportunity to become more self-sufficient.

- The Saskatoon Housing Coalition received $37,500 to obtain preliminary architectural drawings for the construction of a supportive housing facility that will provide housing and supports to single adults who are absolutely or relatively homeless and who have been diagnosed with mental illness. The supports are intended to assist the mentally ill residents in becoming self-sufficient and independent.

- The University of Regina received $153,286 to coordinate and facilitate the implementation of a Regina Homeless Individual and Family Information System and to gather data to develop strategies to provide more effective services to the city's homeless. Regina's homeless individuals and families will benefit through improved service delivery.

- Street Culture Kidz Project Inc. in Regina received $436,848 to purchase, renovate and furnish a duplex-style house. The project will create two 4- or 5-bedroom supportive housing units for single, homeless young women between 15 to 24 years of age. Within these supportive homes, one live-in house parent and two mentors will build relationships with the youth for support and guidance.

- Aboriginal Family Services in Regina received $8,000 to complete pre-development activities to determine the viability and sustainability of a supportive housing facility that would serve 7 to 12 homeless individuals, or couples, with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other cognitive disabilities.

- The Salvation Army in Prince Albert received $300,000 to purchase land and construct a facility for single homeless women in the community between the ages of 16 and 30 who are being sexually exploited.

- The City of North Battleford received $599,000 to purchase land and construct an assessment and stabilization facility for Aboriginal youth between the ages of 10 and 15 who have run from their family home, or from foster care, and are living on the street, or couch surfing.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    or
    Office of Minister Solberg
    Pema Lhalungpa
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Office of Mr. Batters
    Jo Overby
    Constituency Assistant
    306-691-3577