WINNIPEG, Sept. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), along with business leaders, social agencies, and members from all levels of government last night participated in the 4th Annual CEO Sleepout event. Over 145 participants camped out overnight on Portage Street in Winnipeg in order to raise awareness and support homeless employment programs.
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, an organization which represents downtown businesses and runs activities focused on the core's image and culture, led and inspired the 'CEO Sleepout'. Since 2011 this event has helped to employ over 40 individuals and has generated over 30,000 hours of employment for the homeless. It also has been a catalyst for new public and private sector partnerships such as that between the BIZ and Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council's Task Force to End Homelessness which have a mutual goal to end homelessness.
During the CEO Sleepout event Minister Bergen toured shelter facilities and reaffirmed her commitment to helping the city's most vulnerable become self-sufficient, fully participating members of society. She also highlighted the Government of Canada's Homeless Partnering Strategy and Housing First approach which aims to stabilize the lives of homeless individuals for the long-term by first moving them into permanent housing and then providing additional support for underlying issues, such as addiction and mental health.
- On June 20, 2014, Minister Bergen announced Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding of over $28 million dollars for the City of Winnipeg.
- Additionally, together with the Province, on July 29, 2014, Minister Bergen announced $104 million in funding for affordable housing in Manitoba. Since 2006, the Federal Government has invested over $16.5 billion on housing, including $900 million in Manitoba.
"Our Government has taken concrete action to prevent and reduce homelessness because we want all Canadians to have a secure roof over their heads so they can prosper. With their lives on track, individuals are then able to gain skills which lead to jobs. This is also the goal of the sleepout and I'm glad I was able to support such a worthwhile event."
–The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development)
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
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