EDMONTON, June 24, 2014 /CNW/ - The Harper Government is investing more
than $2,400,000 in funding to the Alberta Rural Development Network to
combat homelessness in rural and remote areas across Alberta. The
Honourable Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance), made the
announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister
of State (Social Development).
As part of the Harper Government's focus on creating jobs and
opportunities, the Alberta Rural Development Network is receiving this
investment to support projects that prevent and reduce homelessness
over five years.
The cornerstone of the Government's renewed Homelessness Partnering
Strategy (HPS) is based on the Housing First approach. That approach
aims to stabilize the lives of homeless people for the long term by
first moving them into permanent housing and then providing additional
support for underlying issues, such as addiction and mental health
problems. The goal is to help individuals become self-sufficient, fully
participating members of society.
The Housing First approach came into effect on April 1, 2014, and is
being introduced gradually across the country over the next two years
with specified funding targets, taking into account varying capacity
and resources among communities.
On April 8, the Mental Health Commission of Canada released the final
report of the At Home/Chez Soi project. It was the largest study of its
kind and provided strong evidence that Housing First effectively
Over the course of the Mental Health Commission of Canada study, an
average of 73 percent of participants in the Housing First group
remained in stable housing, compared to 32 percent of the group
receiving usual care.
The study also showed that Housing First is a sound financial investment
that can lead to significant cost savings. For those participants who
used emergency and social services the most, every $10 invested led to
an average savings to government of $21.72.
Since the launch of the HPS in April 2007, nearly 25,000 Canadians who
are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless have benefitted from
education and training opportunities; over 27,000 have received help to
find work; and more than 4,800 new shelter beds have been created.
"We are pleased to partner with the Alberta Rural Development Network to provide essential services to people in need so we can prevent and
address homelessness in rural and remote areas throughout Alberta. Our
ultimate goal is to equip and empower individuals so they are able to
obtain the skills and employment necessary to become fully
participating members of the economy."
- Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance)
"The Alberta Rural Development Network is grateful for the opportunity
to deliver the Government of Canada's funding for rural and remote
homelessness in Alberta. By working directly with smaller communities
to address their unique issues, we can help homeless and at risk
individuals be more successful in their own communities."
- Dee Ann Benard, Executive Director, ARDN
"The Government's renewal of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy with a
shift to Housing First is great news. The results of the At Home/Chez
Soi project clearly demonstrate that the Housing First approach works
in Canada. A house is so much more than a roof over one's head. It
represents dignity, security, and, above all, hope."
- Louise Bradley, President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of
SOURCE: Canada's Economic Action Plan
For further information:
Office of the Minister of State (Finance)
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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