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KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, April 4, 2008 — Vulnerable individuals in Kelowna working to break free from the cycles of homelessness and poverty and build a stronger future for themselves are getting help from the Government of Canada.Mr. Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding of $81,000 for the Okanagan Metis Children and Family Services Society.
“Our government is delivering on our commitment to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless,” said Mr. Cannan. “We are proud to support community efforts that help find local solutions to local problems. Through this investment, the Okanagan Metis Children and Family Services Society will be able to implement services that will help people right here in Kelowna.”
The Homelessness Partnering Strategy funding for the Okanagan Metis Children and Family Services Society will be used to help homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness to secure housing and to gain access to support services in Kelowna in the areas of physical and mental health, detoxification and employment.
“As an Aboriginal organization, we believe in providing holistic wraparound services to individuals accessing our program,” said Kelly Kubik, Executive Director, Okanagan Métis Children and Family Services. “The funding we are receiving from our federal partners will help individuals in need connect to affordable housing, be referred to appropriate counselling and employment services, and access emergency and transitional housing, medical treatment, and food and hygiene products.”
On February 22, 2008, Minister Solberg announced that 505 projects totalling almost $150 million have been approved since April 1, 2007, under the HPS to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. The announcement today is part of that total figure.
The Homelessness Partnering Strategy is providing $269.6 million over two years to help communities across Canada combat homelessness more effectively. The Strategy recognizes that housing stability is essential to self-sufficiency and full participation in Canadian society. It focuses on transitional and supportive housing as important measures to help people overcome homelessness. With its clear goals of improved partnerships, enhanced sustainability and tangible results, the Strategy will provide concrete, meaningful and lasting results for Canadians in need.
“Our government is investing more in affordable and supportive housing than any other federal government in Canada’s history. As a result, we are helping tens of thousands of Canadians achieve a better, more stable life,” said Mr. Cannan.
The link between homelessness and mental illness is well established. In 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the first-ever Mental Health Commission of Canada, and in Budget 2008, the government committed $110 million for the Commission to develop new innovative demonstration projects that will help Canadians facing mental health and homelessness challenges.
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This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.
For more information on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, please visit www.homelessness.gc.ca .
For further information (media only):
Office of Minister Solberg
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Social Development Canada
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