Government of Canada improves situation for homeless people in the Saguenay region

    JONQUIERE, QC, March 17 /CNW Telbec/ - In the Saguenay region, the
Government of Canada is helping families and individuals who are trying to
break out of the cycles of poverty and homelessness and build a better future
for themselves.
    The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of
the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, on behalf
of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social
Development, today announced over $1 million in funding for nine projects by
community organizations in the Saguenay region to better address the needs of
people in crisis and at risk of becoming homeless. These projects are being
funded under the Homelessness Partnership Initiative (HPI), the cornerstone of
the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS).
    "Our government is delivering on its commitment to help those who are
homeless or at risk of becoming homeless," said Minister Blackburn. "We are
proud to support community efforts to find local solutions to local problems.
Working together, we can help our most vulnerable citizens find a place to
call home as well as find the supports they need to become more
    Mr. Blackburn made the announcement in a speech given at the Patro de
Jonquière, which is receiving over $53,000 from April 1, 2007 to March 31,
2009 to maintain the position of a street worker who provides prevention and
assistance services for homeless or at-risk clients to support them and
facilitate their integration into society.
    On February 22, 2008, Minister Solberg announced that 505 projects
totalling over $149.7 million have been approved under the HPS since April 1,
2007 to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. The projects announced
today are part of that total figure.
    Through the HPS, the Government of Canada is implementing concrete
measures to address homelessness and is providing $269.6 million over two
years to help communities across Canada combat homelessness more effectively.
The HPS focuses on affordable and supportive housing as important measures to
help people overcome homelessness. With its clear goals of improved
partnerships, enhanced sustainability and tangible results, the strategy will
provide concrete, meaningful and lasting results for Canadians in need.
    "Our government will invest more in affordable and supportive housing
this year than any government in Canada's history. We are currently spending
more that $2.7 billion annually," added Minister Blackburn.
    With Budget 2008, the Government is committed to helping those who need
the care and support of their fellow Canadians by providing $110 million to
the Mental Health Commission of Canada to support innovative demonstration
projects to develop best practices to help Canadians facing mental health and
homelessness challenges.
    In January 2008, the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec
signed a collaborative agreement with regard to 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.

    For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, please


    The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) began on April 1, 2007. The
Strategy 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 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, the Homelessness Accountability Network and the Surplus Federal
Real Property for Homelessness Initiative.
    The Homelessness Partnership Initiative (HPI) 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

    The HPI has four funding components:

    - Designated Communities
    - Outreach Communities
    - Aboriginal Communities
    - 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.

                           IN THE SAGUENAY REGION

    Organization              Project Title            Location        Amount
    Patro de Jonquière        Patro de Jonquière       Jonquière      $53,020
    Centre d'intervention     Jonquière association
    familiale le Transit      of parents of teens      Jonquière      $44,350
    La Maison d'hébergement   Maison d'hébergement
    Le Séjour Inc.            Le Séjour                Jonquière      $78,475
    Health and Social         Agency -
    Services Agency           HPI Implementation      Chicoutimi      $27,779
    Canadian Mental Health
    Association Saguenay      Canadian Mental Health
                              Association - Macadam   Chicoutimi     $180,210
    Maison d'accueil pour     Maison accueil des
    les sans-abri de          sans-abri de
    Chicoutimi Inc.           Chicoutimi              Chicoutimi     $291,421
    Séjour Marie Fitzbach     Séjour Marie Fitzbach   Chicoutimi     $206,612
    Service de travail de     Chicoutimi street
    rue de Chicoutimi         work service            Chicoutimi      $58,670
    Café Jeunesse de          Café-Jeunesse de
    Chicoutimi Inc.           Chicoutimi              Chicoutimi      $60,945

For further information:

For further information: This news release is available in alternative
formats upon request. For more information (media only): Pema Lhalungpa, Press
Secretary, Office of Minister Solberg, (819) 994-2482; Pascal Doucet, Media
Relations, Coordinator Service, Canada Communications, (514) 982-2384, ext.
2209; Media Relations Office, Human Resources and Social Development Canada,
(819) 994-5559; Public inquiries, 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232), TTY:

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