Funding announced for housing program

  • Jun. 18, 2014 4:24 p.m.

More money has been announced for a housing program in the City.

MP Earl Dreeshen announced last week that the federal government will be investing more than $2 million in funding to the City of Red Deer as it implements Housing First, an evidence-based approach to end homelessness.

Dreeshen made the announcement last Friday on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, minister of State (Social Development) during a press conference at City Hall.

“We are pleased to partner with the City of Red Deer to implement Housing First,” said Dreeshen.

“Through this new approach, we can move out of crisis mode in terms of managing homelessness and work towards eliminating it altogether building stronger communities and ensuring Canada’s long-term prosperity.”

Housing First is the cornerstone of the government’s renewed Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), he added. It 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. The end goal is ensuring these individuals become self-sufficient, fully participating members of society.

Since the launch of the HPS in April 2007, nearly 25,000 Canadians who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless have benefitted from education and training opportunities. More than 27,000 have received help to find work and more than 4,800 new shelter beds have been created.

The City is receiving this funding over five years to support projects in the community that prevent and reduce homelessness, including projects that address the needs of the Aboriginal homeless population.

“Preventing and reducing homelessness in our community is a priority for the City of Red Deer, but we cannot do it alone,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “It is thanks to funding like this and a continued commitment at all orders of government – local, provincial and national – that we are able to continue supporting the community in its endeavor to end homelessness through systemic changes in policies, procedures, partnerships and processes.”

The Housing First approach came into effect on April 1st and is being introduced gradually across the country over the next two years with specified funding targets, taking into account varying capacity and resources among communities.

On April 8th, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) released the final report of the ‘At Home/Chez Soi’ project. It was the largest study of its kind and provided strong evidence that Housing First is an effective way to reduce homelessness.

“The government’s renewal of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy with a shift to Housing First is great news,” said Louise Bradley, president and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. “The results of the At Home/Chez Soi project clearly demonstrate that the Housing First approach works in Canada. A house is so much more than a roof over one’s head. It represents dignity, security, and, above all, hope.”

Over the course of the MHCC study, an average of 73% of participants in the Housing First group remained in stable housing, compared to 32% for the group receiving usual care.

The study also showed that Housing First is a sound financial investment that can lead to significant cost savings. For those participants that were the highest users of emergency and social services, every $10 invested led to an average savings to government of $21.72.

– Swan

Just Posted

Blackfalds RCMP respond to serious collision

Car collides with moose, driver suffers life threatening injuries

RCMP offer crime prevention tips for the holiday season

Red Deer RCMP give tips so holidays aren’t marred by theft or damage

Dan Davidson up for five ACMA Awards

Davidson will head to Red Deer with Brett Kissel in the New Year

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

RCMP lay 34 charges in stolen vehicle operation

Red Deer RCMP arrest 13 people in four-day covert stolen vehicle operation last week

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Most Read