PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, MB, Jan. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), today announced Government of Canada measures that will help reduce homelessness in Manitoba.
The Canadian Mental Health Association's House of Hope project is receiving more than $1 million in federal funding. The funding is provided through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, which assists Canadians facing homelessness, allowing them to focus on improving their health, social and employment situations.
This project will help build eight transitional housing units and one storage space in Portage la Prairie, as well as help improve existing housing.
- The Government of Canada is introducing measures to reduce homelessness that will make a real difference in communities across the country.
- In Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government announced an investment of almost $600 million over five years to renew the Homelessness Partnering Strategy using a Housing First approach as an effective way to reduce homelessness. Housing First moves homeless people into immediate and permanent housing, and then offers support for addictions and mental illnesses.
- A federally funded research project and results from communities in Canada that have already moved to a Housing First approach have clearly demonstrated that it is the most effective way to reduce homelessness.
- Since the launch of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy in 2007, over 55 000 people have secured stable housing.
- "By investing in new and existing housing infrastructure, our government is providing assistance to those who need it most in Manitoba, including those right here in Portage. We are committed to making communities stronger through projects like these that develop housing and provide support services for people at risk of being homeless."
Minister of State (Social Development)
- "CMHA strives to be an organization that offers people access to shelter, not only in terms of housing, but also in supports and services. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Canada and partners, once again, for their contribution to this project. It is with their support we can provide for a better community in Portage la Prairie."
Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association Central
- "We congratulate the Canadian Mental Health Association on their House of Hope project and their commitment to addressing homelessness issues in rural Manitoba. This project is an exciting example of how the Homelessness Partnering Strategy allows rural and remote communities to help individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness achieve self-sufficiency and a better quality of life."
Chair of the Rural and Remote Advisory Board
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.
The Housing First approach, announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, recognizes 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.
Housing First involves first giving people who are homeless a place to live, and then providing the necessary supports (e.g. for mental illness) to help them stabilize their lives and recover as well as possible. Research has shown that Housing First is the most effective approach in reducing chronic homelessness while alleviating pressure on other shelter, health and judicial services.
Since the launch of the HPS in April 2007, the federal government has approved over $740 million for projects to 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. The federal government seeks to address homelessness by working in partnership with the provinces and territories, as well as with communities, the private and not-for-profit sectors.
Most HPS funding is delivered through the Community Entity model. Under this model, through a single contribution agreement, the Government of Canada entrusts an organization, often the community's municipal government, with the ability to manage HPS projects in the local area based on their community plan. The Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation is the community entity working in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association to manage the House of Hope project.
In September 2008, the Government of Canada committed to more than $1.9 billion in funding for housing and homelessness over five years. As part of this commitment, the Government has renewed the HPS until March 2014. Economic Action Plan 2013 committed $119 million per year over five years until March 2019 for the HPS using a Housing First approach.
For more information on the HPS and its seven funding streams, visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of State (Social Development)
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada