REGINA, SK, April 4, 2013 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Tom Lukiwski, Member of Parliament for Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre, today announced that vulnerable people in Saskatchewan will have greater access to housing and support services, as a result of a new investment provided to the YMCA of Regina.
"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 YMCA of Regina in its efforts to find local solutions to local problems," said Mr. Lukiwski. "By partnering with organizations in rural and remote parts of Saskatchewan to provide essential services to people in need, we are doing our part to prevent and address homelessness in the province.
"The YMCA of Regina is excited about working alongside the Rural Advisory Board and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to address homelessness in the province. The YMCA of Regina's vision is to continue to build healthy communities both within and beyond our walls," said Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, General Manager, Community Development, YMCA of Regina.
The YMCA of Regina is distributing Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding of more than $815,000 to organizations in rural and remote parts of Saskatchewan that will ensure vulnerable people get the help they need. The funding will help provide stable and affordable housing, as well as support services, to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in these areas.
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.
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. 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, visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.
SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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