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January 11, 2010
For immediate release
Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island Help Alleviate Homelessness
Social Services and Seniors
The governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island are helping those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless build a stronger future for themselves.
The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for Egmont, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Doug Currie, Minister of Health and Minister of Social Services and Seniors for Prince Edward Island, today announced the grand opening of the newly constructed Supported Transitional Apartment and Community Complex.
“The Government of Canada is supporting many Canadians with housing needs and is fulfilling our commitment to help those seeking to break free of the cycle of homelessness and poverty,” said Minister Shea. “Through our investment of $210,000, Queens County Residential Services will be able to help people with disabilities who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, by providing supportive housing and services.”
Queens County Residential Services, through the federal Homelessness Partnering Strategy’s Community Entity agreement administered by the John Howard Society of Prince Edward Island, received $200,000, as well as $10,000 from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Seed Funding program.
The Government of Prince Edward Island contributed $75,000 and $30,000 through its Affordable Housing Trust and Community Development Fund, respectively, in addition to an in kind land transfer valued at $150,000 for this facility. The newly constructed Supported Transitional Apartment and Community Complex includes three supported-living units and a common area that will be the base for a life skills training centre.
“The Government of Prince Edward Island is proud to have played a role in the culmination of the Queens County Residence. This service is an example of how the Government of Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island are helping to meet the needs of more members of our One Island Community,” said Minister Currie.
“We are extremely pleased with the support received from both the federal and provincial governments. Our organization has worked tirelessly over the past few years to ensure our clients have the supports needed to live independently in the community,” added Mr. Bill Lawlor, Executive Director of Queens County Residential Services Inc. “It is very rewarding to be standing in this complex today.”
In September 2008, the Government of Canada announced $1.9 billion over five years for housing and homelessness programs for low-income Canadians. This commitment provides the Government with the flexibility to work with the provinces and territories, municipalities and charitable organizations to develop ways to improve the effectiveness of federal spending in the area of housing and homelessness.
This ongoing funding will ensure that the Government can continue to assist those who need support, including homeless people and those at risk of homelessness — low-income Canadians, seniors, people with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal Canadians.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan is building on these investments by making an additional one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years in new and existing social housing, and by making available up to $2 billion in loans to Canadian municipalities over two years for housing-related infrastructure improvements. To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.
The provision of safe and stable housing and related supports is an important element for addressing homelessness and helping individuals achieve greater self sufficiency and improved quality of life. The Homelessness Partnering Strategy therefore places an emphasis on longer-term transitional and supportive housing through a housing-first approach to help people overcome homelessness.
For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.
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 communities across Canada. The HPS took effect April 1, 2007, with annual funding of $134.8 million for two years, and was extended in 2008 for a further two years until March 31, 2011.
The HPS provides structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless achieve self-sufficiency and full participation in society. This model seeks to address homelessness by working in partnership with the provinces and territories, other federal departments, as well as with communities and the private and non-profit sectors. By working with all our partners, we will maximize results to make a lasting difference in the lives of vulnerable Canadians. The Homelessness Partnering Strategy provides the support that our community partners are seeking.
The Homelessness Partnering Strategy uses a housing-first approach, recognizing that the first step is to provide individuals with transitional and supportive housing.
The HPS has seven funding streams:
- Designated Communities
- Outreach Communities
- Aboriginal Communities
- Federal Horizontal Pilot Projects
- Homelessness Knowledge Development
- Homeless Individuals and Families Information System
- Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative
For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy and the seven funding streams, please visit the following website: www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.