Government of Canada helps Aboriginal people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in British Columbia

PRINCE RUPERT, BC, March 18, 2013 /CNW/ - People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness will get more help from local organizations, as a result of funding provided to the Prince Rupert Aboriginal Community Services Society. Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Our government is giving a hand up to vulnerable Canadians to help them meet certain basic needs and break free from the cycle of homelessness and poverty. We are pleased to support the Prince Rupert Aboriginal Community Services Society in its efforts to find local solutions to local problems," said Mr. Zimmer. "By partnering with local organizations to provide essential services to people in need, we are doing our part to prevent and address homelessness in British Columbia."

"This Government of Canada funding puts us in a better position to prevent and reduce homelessness in the Prince Rupert area," said Theresa Wesley, Executive Director, Prince Rupert Aboriginal Community Services Society. "We're looking forward to working with local Aboriginal organizations and other community partners to ensure that local needs are addressed."

The Prince Rupert Aboriginal Community Services Society is distributing Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding of more than $120,000 to local organizations to help reduce the number of homeless individuals and families, by providing support services and increasing access to safe, suitable homes. The funding will support projects in Prince Rupert that are focused on capital investments, client services, partnership development and data management.

In September 2008, the Government committed to more than $1.9 billion in housing and homelessness programs over five years. As part of this commitment, the Government of Canada has renewed the HPS until March 2014.


backgrounder


Homelessness Partnering Strategy

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to 61 designated communities across Canada.

In September 2008, the Government committed to investing more than $1.9 billion in housing and homelessness programs over five years. This includes a renewal of the HPS until March 2014.

Since the launch of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) in April 2007, the Government has approved over $736 million for projects to prevent and reduce homelessness across Canada.

The HPS provides structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to achieve self-sufficiency and participate fully in society. This model seeks to address homelessness by working in partnership with the provinces and territories and other federal departments, as well as with communities and the private and not-for-profit sectors.

The availability of safe, stable housing and related supports is an important element in addressing homelessness and helping individuals who are homeless achieve greater self-sufficiency and a better quality of life. The Government's investments are creating jobs, stimulating local economies and improving the quality of life for many Canadians.

By working with all our partners, we will maximize results to make a lasting difference in the lives of vulnerable Canadians. The HPS provides the support that our community partners are seeking.

The HPS encourages a housing-first approach, recognizing that housing stability is an important first step in addressing homelessness. It is also necessary for the success of other interventions such as education and training, the development of life skills and the management of mental health issues.

For more information on the HPS and the seven funding streams, visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.


SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

For further information:

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For further information (media only):
Alyson Queen
Director of Communications
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482

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