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Government of Canada helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert, British Columbia, April 4, 2013—Aboriginal people facing homelessness will benefit from nutrition workshops, food hampers and improved facilities at the Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert, thanks to federal funding. Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

“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 Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert in its efforts to find local solutions to local problems,” said Mr. Zimmer. “By partnering with local organizations to provide essential services to people in need, we are doing our part to prevent and address homelessness in British Columbia.

“Funds from the Homelessness Partnering Strategy allow us to provide services that are not available in our community at this time,” said Vince E. Sampare, Contract Manager for the Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert. “The great support we receive from the Government of Canada allows us to fill those gaps with our services.”

The Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert received over $70,000 from the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) to support the construction of a new kitchen, a shower and laundry facilities. The new kitchen will give local Aboriginal people increased access to nutritious food through workshops and a food hamper program.

In September 2008, the Government committed to more than $1.9 billion in housing and homelessness programs over five years. As part of this commitment, the Government of Canada renewed the HPS until March 2014. 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.

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This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For further information (media only):

Alyson Queen
Director of Communications
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559

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Backgrounder

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.

In September 2008, the Government committed to investing more than $1.9 billion in housing and homelessness programs over five years. This included a renewal of the HPS until March 2014. 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 $736 million for projects that 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.

For more information on the HPS and the seven funding streams, please visitwww.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.

NT5