Province marks second year of 10-year plan to end homelessness

There are about 3,000 less homeless people in Alberta thanks to the province’s 10-year plan to end homelessness, officials say.

The program marked its second year recently.

“With the $9 million boost this year, we will help another 500 people move off the streets into housing and continue to support more than 3,000 formerly homeless Albertans on their path to independence,” said Premier Ed Stelmach.

He said Alberta was the first province in Canada to implement a 10-year plan to end homelessness. ‘Housing First’ provides homeless people with permanent housing in tandem with wrap-around supports, which may include intensive medical, psychiatric, and case management services, such as life skills training, landlord liaison assistance or addictions counseling.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling applauds the funding.

“It’s encouraging to see the province announcing this funding,” he said. “It’s great to see that this issue remains in the forefront for the province.”

Besides more in core funding, Stelmach said $4 million will also go to support rent supplements to 1,000 formerly homeless people who only need help with their rent and no longer need Housing First wrap-around supports.

“Housing First is the right thing to do for vulnerable Albertans because it provides the supports they need to get into housing and stay housed,” said Jonathan Denis, minister of Housing and Urban Affairs. “Partnering with communities and service agencies is also the right approach because it reduces costs to taxpayers.”

Denis pointed out that while shelters are a vital service to the community, they don’t ultimately solve the problem of homelessness.

In its recent budget, the Tories also announced $90 million for the development of close to 500 new housing units.

In 2011/12 another $100 million in capital will further support housing for homeless and low-to-moderate income Albertans in need.

Locally, Flewwelling added the City has taken great strides in battling the issue.

“We’ve been able to do wonderful things as a community,” he said. “We led the nation as a small City in developing the Mayor’s Taskforce to End Homelessness.

“However, we are nowhere finished. Homelessness is like a river – there are people constantly falling in upstream and we continue to fish them out downstream.

“We seek to get these people housed and then continue to support them and that’s the key.”

Just Posted

Dan Davidson up for five ACMA Awards

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

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

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