The Government of Canada will support communities in a second national homelessness point-in-time count
14 Jun, 2016, 11:00 ET
GATINEAU, QC, June 14, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, today announced that following the 2016 homelessness Point-in-Time (PiT) Count, a second nationally coordinated PiT count will be held between March 1st and April 30 2018 to continue to help communities measure their progress in reducing homelessness.
By announcing the 2018 count early, there will be an opportunity for more communities to participate. Discussions with designated communities, including Canada's major cities, are taking place over the next months to help to guide the approach taken for 2018. The second count will include a focus on engaging with homeless youth and Indigenous communities.
Key findings from the first PiT count, which ended on April 30, 2016, will be released this fall. The information collected through the first and second PiT count will contribute to a national picture of the nature and size of the homeless population. It will allow communities to better identify the needs of homeless individuals and provide them with local, tailored supports.
- The coordinated PiT counts are initiatives that take place under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS).
- The HPS is a community-based program that aims to prevent and reduce homelessness by providing help and financial support to 61 urban communities, as well as to Aboriginal, rural and remote communities across Canada, to help address local homelessness needs.
- The PiT counts use a common methodology and are coordinated in communities across the country.
- Budget 2016 announced an additional investment of $111.8 million to address homelessness. This is the first increase since the creation of the National Homelessness Initiative in 1999, and is in addition to the nearly $600 million committed for five years from 2014–2019.
- Since the launch of HPS, nearly 35,000 Canadians who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless have benefitted from education and training opportunities; over 34,000 have received help to find work; more than 6,000 new shelter beds have been created; and the program has helped place over 82,000 people in more stable housing.
"I am pleased that the Government of Canada is working in collaboration with communities and stakeholders to find solutions to homelessness. The second point-in-time count will further contribute to the development of a national picture of homelessness, allowing our government, and participating communities, to identify effective strategies for reducing homelessness in Canada."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Employment and Social Development Canada – PiT Count
Homelessness Partnering Strategy
The point-in-time (PiT) counts are coordinated with communities across Canada through the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS).
A PiT count is a method used to measure sheltered and unsheltered homelessness. It aims to enumerate individuals in a community who are, at a given time, staying in shelters or "sleeping rough" (e.g., on the street, in parks), providing a "snapshot" of homelessness in a community. PiT counts include a survey that can provide communities with information on the characteristics of their homeless population (e.g., age, gender, veteran status, Indigenous identity).
This information can be used by communities to direct resources to areas of greatest need, and to connect individuals with specific backgrounds to targeted supports to help them achieve stable housing. When completed in subsequent years, it can also be used to track changes in the homeless population over time and measure progress in reducing it.
In Quebec, the HPS is administered through a formal agreement that respects the jurisdiction and priorities of both governments in addressing homelessness. Discussions with Quebec are ongoing with respect to the 2018 Coordinated PiT Count.
Homelessness Partnering Strategy
The HPS is a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness by providing direct support and funding to 61 designated communities in all provinces and territories, as well as to Aboriginal, rural and remote communities across Canada, to help them address homelessness.
Funding for Homelessness Projects
Through the HPS, qualified organizations may receive funding for projects to help prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. These projects are funded through regional and/or national funding streams.
Funding delivered regionally focuses on the needs of homeless and at-risk individuals at the local level, and aims to help individuals gain and maintain a stable living arrangement. The three regional streams are:
- Designated Communities:
- 61 communities across Canada that have a significant problem with homelessness have been selected to receive ongoing support to address this issue. These communities—mostly urban centres—are given funding that must be matched with contributions from other sources. Funded projects must support priorities identified through a community planning process.
- Rural and Remote Homelessness (non-designated communities):
- The Rural and Remote Homelessness funding stream targets smaller, non-designated communities located in rural and outlying areas. This funding is not available to the 61 designated communities.
- Aboriginal Homelessness:
- The Aboriginal Homelessness funding stream addresses the specific needs of the off-reserve homeless Aboriginal population by supporting an integrated service delivery system that is culturally appropriate and community-driven.
- The HPS partners with Aboriginal groups to ensure that services meet the unique needs of off-reserve homeless Aboriginal people in cities and rural areas. The unique needs of all First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and non-status Indians are also considered.
- Off-reserve Aboriginal people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are also served under the Designated Communities and Rural and Remote Homelessness funding streams.
The national funding streams help to develop a better understanding of homelessness based on local data collection, and make surplus federal real properties available to organizations that plan to use the facilities to address homelessness.
- Innovative Solutions to Homelessness:
- The Innovative Solutions to Homelessness funding stream is delivered nationally and supports the development of the best innovative approaches to reducing homelessness. Funding can be used to support activities in three key areas: supporting community-based innovative projects to reduce homelessness and/or the cost of homelessness; building strategic partnerships with key stakeholders; and testing and/or sharing tools, social metrics, and research findings geared towards homelessness.
- National Homelessness Information System:
- The National Homelessness Information System is a federal data development initiative designed to collect and analyze baseline data related primarily to the use of emergency shelters in Canada.
- This funding stream supports the implementation and deployment of the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS) software, HIFIS training at the community level, and projects related to community shelter data coordination.
- Data collected through HIFIS and other sources, such as provincial or municipal governments, feed into the National Homelessness Information System to help develop a national portrait of homelessness.
- Surplus Federal Real Property Initiative:
- The Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative is a funding stream of the HPS. It makes surplus federal real properties available to eligible recipients for projects to help prevent and reduce homelessness.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
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