GATINEAU, QC, Feb. 22, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced nearly $3 million to support Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) designated communities that wish to participate in Everyone Counts: the 2018 Coordinated Point-in-Time (PiT) count of Homelessness in Canadian Communities.
The 2018 Coordinated Point-in-Time (PiT) count will help communities measure their progress in reducing homelessness and will contribute to the understanding of homelessness throughout Canada. The results of this initiative will also contribute to the Government of Canada's efforts to reduce poverty in Canada.
Communities can also choose to implement a joint PiT count and Registry Week, which helps the community to create a by-name list of individuals experiencing homelessness. This list can be used to link individuals to housing supports as part of the 20,000 Homes Campaign of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.
Findings from the 2018 Coordinated PiT count, when coupled with results from the 2016 Coordinated PiT count, will provide important insight into changes in the homeless population over time. In 2016, a total of 32 communities participated in the first nationally coordinated PiT count. Key findings from this PiT count, which ended on April 30, 2016, were published in Highlights – 2016 Coordinated Point-in-Time Count of Homelessness in Canadian Communities.
"Partnership and collaboration with communities and stakeholders are key to finding solutions to homelessness in Canada. The information gathered from both the 2016 and 2018 Point-in-Time counts will contribute to a national picture of homelessness in Canada. It will enable communities to better identify and respond to the needs of homeless individuals."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
- The call will be open until May 31, 2017. Following this call, PiT counts will be conducted in designated communities from March 1 to April 30, 2018. In addition to the Guide to Point-in-Time Counts in Canada, participating communities will receive support through an implementation toolkit and training.
- From Budget 2016, the Government of Canada invested an additional $111.8 million over two years in the HPS to provide communities the support they need to help prevent and reduce homelessness, including Housing First activities, better emergency response services, and supports for youth, women fleeing violence and veterans. This builds on the program's existing investment of nearly $600 million over five years.
- To support community efforts to understand homelessness, the Government of Canada is investing nearly $3 million in this initiative.
- Since the launch of the HPS, nearly 35,000 Canadians who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless have benefitted from education and training opportunities; assistance has been provided to support over 34,000 job placements; more than 6,000 new shelter beds have been created; and the program has helped place over 82,000 people in more stable housing.
A Point-inTime (PiT) count is a method used to measure sheltered and unsheltered homelessness. It aims to enumerate individuals in a community who are, at a given time, staying in shelters or "sleeping rough" (e.g., on the street, in parks), providing a "snapshot" of homelessness in a community. PiT counts include a survey that can provide communities with information on the characteristics of their homeless population (e.g., age, gender, veteran status, Indigenous identity).
This information can be used by communities to direct resources to areas of greatest need, and to connect individuals with specific backgrounds to targeted supports to help them achieve stable housing. When completed in subsequent years, it can also be used to track changes in the homeless population over time and measure progress in reducing it.
The coordinated PiT count of homelessness uses a common methodology and is coordinated with communities across Canada through the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS).
In Quebec, the HPS is administered through a formal agreement that respects the jurisdiction and priorities of both governments in addressing homelessness. Discussions with Quebec are ongoing with respect to the 2018 Coordinated PiT Count.
In 2015, the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) launched the 20,000 Homes Campaign to house 20,000 people experiencing homelessness by July 1, 2018. Communities that participate create a registry, or By-Name List, of people experiencing homelessness and determine the severity of their needs in order to prioritize people for housing interventions.
The creation of this list typically begins with a Registry Week, when surveys are conducted with people experiencing homelessness to begin to evaluate the severity of their needs.
Data collected from a Registry Week will allow communities to target supports and services that meet the needs of the individual, but also the community.
Since its introduction, 37 communities have participated in the Registry Week.
Homelessness Partnering Strategy
The HPS is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to 61 designated communities in all provinces and territories, as well as to Aboriginal, rural and remote communities across Canada, to help them address homelessness.
Funding for Homelessness projects
Through the HPS, qualified organizations may receive funding for projects to help prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. These projects are funded through regional and/or national funding streams.
Funding delivered regionally focuses on the needs of homeless and at-risk individuals at the local level, and aims to help individuals gain and maintain a stable living arrangement. The three regional streams are:
- Designated Communities:
- 61 communities across Canada that have a significant problem with homelessness have been selected to receive ongoing support to address this issue. These communities—mostly urban centres—are given funding that must be matched with contributions from other sources. Funded homelessness projects must support priorities identified through a community planning process.
- Rural and Remote Homelessness (non-designated communities):
- The Rural and Remote Homelessness funding stream targets smaller, non-designated communities located in rural and outlying areas. This funding is not available to the 61 designated communities.
- Aboriginal Homelessness:
- The Aboriginal Homelessness funding stream addresses the specific needs of the off-reserve homeless Aboriginal population by supporting an integrated service delivery system that is culturally appropriate and community-driven.
- The HPS partners with Aboriginal groups to ensure that services meet the unique needs of off-reserve homeless Aboriginal people in cities and rural areas. The unique needs of all First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and non-status Indians peoples are also considered.
- Off-reserve Aboriginal people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are also served under the Designated Communities and Rural and Remote Homelessness funding streams.
The national funding streams help to develop a better understanding of homelessness based on local data collection, and make surplus federal real properties available to organizations that plan to use the facilities to address homelessness.
- Innovative Solutions to Homelessness:
- The Innovative Solutions to Homelessness funding stream is delivered nationally and supports the development of the best innovative approaches to reducing homelessness. Funding can be used to support activities in three key areas: supporting community-based innovative projects to reduce homelessness and/or the cost of homelessness; building strategic partnerships with key stakeholders; and testing and/or sharing tools, social metrics, and research findings geared towards homelessness.
- National Homelessness Information System:
- The National Homelessness Information System is a federal data development initiative designed to collect and analyze baseline data related primarily to the use of emergency shelters in Canada.
- This funding stream supports the implementation and deployment of the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS) software, HIFIS training at the community level, and projects related to community shelter data coordination.
- Data collected through HIFIS and other sources, such as provincial or municipal governments, feed into the National Homelessness Information System to help develop a national portrait of homelessness.
- Surplus Federal Real Property Initiative:
- The Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative is a funding stream of the HPS. It makes surplus federal real properties available to eligible recipients for projects to help prevent and reduce homelessness.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Emilie Gauduchon-Campbell, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada819-994-5559, [email protected]