SASKATOON, SK, Sept. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Randy Hoback, Member of Parliament for Prince Albert, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development), today announced new measures to further reduce homelessness in Saskatoon. The Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) will receive support to continue its essential work with the homeless, or people who are at risk of homelessness, in the region. Since 2007, projects funded under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy have placed over 55 000 people into more stable housing.
"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 CUMFI in its efforts to find local solutions to local problems," said Mr. Hoback. "By partnering with local organizations to provide essential services to people in need, we are doing our part to prevent and address homelessness in Saskatoon."
"We're committed to helping all Canadians, particularly the most vulnerable, achieve self-sufficiency and fully participate in society," said Minister Bergen. "By providing support to people in need, we're building stronger communities and ensuring Canada's long-term prosperity."
"The CUMFI kitchen gives us the opportunity to meet some of the needs of homelessness by providing a healthy meal and informal conversation in a welcoming, safe environment," said Shirley Isbister, Executive Director of CUMFI. "It's about building relationships and trust so that other challenges can be worked on. We thank the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the staff of the Saskatoon Housing Initiative Partnership for providing this community opportunity."
The Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. received over $128,000 to upgrade and renovate its basement kitchen. The kitchen is used as part of a larger outreach program which offers food to the homeless and individuals and families who are at risk of becoming homeless. In the past fiscal year, the organization helped over 4 000 vulnerable Canadians.
The Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes $119 million per year over five years for the HPS using a "Housing First" approach as an effective way to reduce homelessness.
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 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 $745 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.
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 adopts 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, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.
This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.
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SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
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