The Government of Canada helps residents of Bas-Saint-Laurent build a better future



    RIMOUSKI, QC, Aug. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Residents of Bas-Saint-Laurent will
get help to improve their employability and to help stop the cycle of poverty
and homelessness, thanks to three new federally funded projects. The
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities and Minister responsible for the Quebec Region, made the
announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of
Human Resources and Social Development.
    "We are proud to support community efforts that help find local solutions
to local problems," said Minister Cannon. "Through these investments, we will
help individuals from the region improve their living conditions and find
their rightful place in society."
    During an announcement at the Port de Rimouski, Minister Cannon announced
that the Government of Canada will provide more than $165,000 in funding to
three Bas-Saint-Laurent organizations. Specifically, Action Travail
Rimouski-Neigette will receive $70,170, the Corporation de la Maison des
jeunes de Trois-Pistoles will receive $49,980; and the Centre de prévention du
suicide et d'intervention de crise du Bas-St-Laurent will receive $45,207.
    The Action Travail Rimouski-Neigette project will allow 10 young people
to gain new skills by creating a community garden, in which they will grow
produce to be distributed to disadvantaged people in the region through local
organizations and community meals. The Corporation de la Maison des jeunes de
Trois-Pistoles project will support the hiring of two individuals to work with
street youth in the regional municipal county of Les Basques to help
vulnerable young people aged 12 to 30 who do not usually take advantage of
health and employment services.
    Service Canada is funding these projects through its Skills Link program,
one of Canada's youth employment programs, which helps youth facing obstacles
to employment gain the skills, knowledge, and work experience they need to
participate in the work force.
    The funding for the Centre de prévention du suicide et d'intervention de
crise du Bas-St-Laurent will help with the renovation of the shelter, and will
help purchase supplies, furniture, and telephone equipment. The centre
provides help to people dealing with psychosocial crisis situations, as well
as those at risk of suicide. These funds are provided through the Homelessness
Partnering Initiative (HPI), a cornerstone of the Homelessness Partnering
Strategy.
    In January 2008, the governments of Canada and Quebec signed a
collaborative agreement concerning the designated community and outreach
community components of the HPI. This agreement takes into account the ways in
which the HPI complements the Government of Quebec's programs and policies to
address homelessness.
    The Government of Quebec, in consideration of the participation of the
Government of Canada, provides HPI community partners with at least 50 percent
of the total funding for projects undertaken through the collective plan.

    Service Canada brings Government of Canada services and benefits together
in a single delivery network. It provides Canadians with one-stop service they
can access however they choose-by phone at 1 800 O-Canada, on the Internet at
servicecanada.gc.ca, or in person at Service Canada Centres across the
country.

    
                                Backgrounders

                                 Skills Link

    The Skills Link program is one of three Government of Canada programs that
help young Canadians (aged 15 to 30) obtain career information, develop
skills, gain work experience, find good jobs, and stay employed. The two other
programs are Summer Work Experience and Career Focus.
    Skills Link focuses on helping young people who face barriers to
employment. These young people include high school drop-outs, single parents,
Aboriginal youth, young people with disabilities, youth in rural areas, and
recent immigrants. Summer Work Experience helps secondary and post-secondary
students find summer jobs. Career Focus helps post-secondary graduates develop
advanced skills and find careers in their fields. All three programs provide a
range of activities that can be tailored to meet individual needs.
    Projects funded under the Skills Link program have been reviewed to ensure
compliance with the Department's grants and contributions programs, and are
subject to review under the Financial Administration Act.

                   Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS)

    The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) began on April 1, 2007, and 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 the 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 (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; and
         - 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.
    




For further information:

For further information: Media enquiries: Pascal Doucet, Media
Relations, Service Canada Communications, (514) 982-2384, ext. 2209; Media
Relations Office, Service Canada and Human Resources and Social Development
Canada, (819) 994-5559; Public enquiries: 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232),
TTY: 1-800-926-9105, servicecanada.gc.ca; Youth Info Line, 1-800-935-5555,
youth.gc.ca; This news release is available in alternative formats on request.
Call 1-800-788-8282 on a touch-tone phone or through a teletypewriter (TTY)


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