WINNIPEG, Nov. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Lawrence Toet, Member of Parliament for Elmwood-Transcona, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), attended the 9th Annual Hope in the City Breakfast hosted by the Salvation Army in Winnipeg. Mr. Toet applauded the work of the Salvation Army to support vulnerable Canadians and spoke about the Government's approach to reduce homelessness through the Homeless Partnering Strategy and Housing First.
"I applaud the work of the Salvation Army to improve the lives of vulnerable Canadians across the country and right here in Winnipeg," said Mr. Toet. "Our government is working closely with partners and communities to effectively reduce homelessness."
In Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government of Canada renewed its Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) with a focus on the Housing First model and invested more than $1.25 billion over five years to renew the Investment in Affordable Housing to 2019.
"Our government is committed to helping vulnerable Canadians get the tools and skills they need to find good jobs, get their lives back on track and in many cases, secure their own economic prosperity," said Minister of State Bergen. "We know the federal government can't do this alone, which is why we are committed to working with our community partners to create local solutions to reduce homelessness and poverty."
Since the launch of the HPS in April 2007, thousands of homeless individuals have secured stable housing, found jobs, returned to school and increasingly participated in our communities. Moving forward, the federal government will continue to work with local communities to develop local solutions to homelessness and help them to capitalize on the effectiveness of Housing First. Housing First is an evidence-based model with proven results that effectively reduces chronic homelessness while alleviating pressure on other shelter, health and judicial services.
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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.
Economic Action Plan 2013 announced $119 million per year over five years, ending in March 2019, for the HPS using a Housing First approach. This represents nearly $600 million in total new funding.
The Housing First approach 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 giving people who are homeless first a place to live, and then the necessary supports (e.g. for mental illness) to help them stabilize their lives and recover as best as possible. Housing First is effective 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. 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.
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)