Government of Canada helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Yukon

WHITEHORSE, YT, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - People facing homelessness will get more help from local organizations, as a result of funding provided to the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN). Ryan Leef, Member of Parliament for Yukon, 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 Council of Yukon First Nations in its efforts to find local solutions to local problems," said Mr. Leef. "By partnering with local organizations to provide essential services to people in need, we are doing our part to prevent and address homelessness throughout Yukon.

"The CYFN has a successful working relationship with First Nations people, communities and other organizations, ensuring resources are available for them to provide programs for the benefit of all Yukon citizens," said Michelle Kolla, CYFN Executive Director. "The Homelessness Partnering Strategy is a great opportunity for First Nations to be involved in working in partnership to find solutions to help those facing homelessness in our communities."

The CYFN will distribute Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding of more than $461,000 to local organizations for the development of housing and support services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Yukon. The funding will support projects in Whitehorse and in rural and remote parts of Yukon, including those that meet Aboriginal needs.

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 renewed the HPS until March 2014. Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes $119 million per year over five years, until March 2019, for the HPS using a Housing First approach.


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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 included a renewal of the HPS until March 2014. Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes $119 million per year over five years, until March 2019, for the HPS using a Housing First approach. This represents nearly $600 million in total new funding.

"Housing First" involves giving people who are homeless a place to live first, and then providing the necessary supports (e.g. for mental illness) to help them stabilize their lives and recover as best as possible. "Housing First" can be an effective tool in solving chronic homelessness while reducing pressure on other shelter, health and justice services.

Since the launch of the HPS in April 2007, the Government has approved over $736 million for projects that 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, please 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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