CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire -07/31/12)- To further support Canadians who have dedicated themselves to serving their country, the Government is launching the Transitional Housing and Supports for Homeless Veterans pilot project to help veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs.
"The Government is committed to supporting Canadian veterans that stood up for our great country," said Minister Finley. "By working with community organizations across Canada, we are aiming to make a positive difference in the lives of those who have served our country. Our government will always stand up for our veterans, and together with all Canadians, we will never forget their service and sacrifice."
"This pilot project complements existing programs to expand our reach to help homeless veterans get the care and benefits they need and deserve," said Minister Blaney. "Today's announcement is yet another example of our government's continued commitment to improving the lives of veterans and their families."
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, is providing over $1.9 million in funding for this project and Veterans Affairs Canada is providing in-kind contributions totaling $1.85 million.
"The Alberta government is committed to helping military veterans who are in transition to find appropriate housing," said Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths. "These men and women have served our country with pride. Now, it is time to repay our debt of gratitude to them, which is why our government is proud to provide $1.8 million toward the purchase of a facility for this project."
"As Canadians, we have an obligation to support the men and women who have served our country and fallen on hard times," said Tim Richter, President and CEO, Calgary Homeless Foundation. "We're thrilled to partner with the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta and be part of this new national project to house and support homeless Canadian veterans and uphold our duty of care."
This pilot project is based on a successful program that was launched in the United Kingdom, where the government provides support that is based on veteran-centred principles. A key component of the project is a focus on providing a structured, military-like environment in the housing facilities. Central to this environment includes the implementation of peer support, where veterans use their experience to help other veterans.
"The Royal Canadian Legion applauds the launching of this much needed pilot project.This is an opportunity for the Government to establish long-term collaborative partnerships with existing programs like the Legion's national homeless veterans program, Leave the Streets Behind, as well as Cockrell House in Victoria," said Gord Moore, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion.
"This initiative is far more than just putting a roof over the heads of homeless veterans, it is about providing more lasting, meaningful support for those veterans most in need," concluded Minister Blaney.
This important partnership project is being carried out in four cities across Canada: Toronto, Ontario; London, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta; and Victoria, British Columbia.
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Transitional Housing and Supports for Homeless Veterans
The project will be administered by the City of London and is being carried out in four cities across Canada.
-- Toronto, Ontario: Mainstay Housing is receiving $405,789 in Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) funding. -- London, Ontario: The Unity Project for Relief of Homelessness in London is receiving $304,948 in HPS funding. -- Calgary, Alberta: The Calgary Homeless Foundation is receiving $539,547 in HPS funding. -- Victoria, BC: Cockrell House is receiving $258,800 in HPS funding.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRDC) will fund project activities and coordination, including an evaluation to assess the impact of the project interventions on housing stability, self-sufficiency and the integration of homeless veterans into the broader community.
The contribution of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) will include: management and other support from its head office; clinical support and training from the VAC National Centre for Occupational Stress Injuries and regional clinics located at the pilot sites; as well as case management support from the local VAC offices at the pilot sites.
Community partner organizations are providing services such as meals and local transportation.
The City of London, as project administrator, will monitor and manage project finances for all sites, evaluate the project, and provide regular reports to HRSDC and VAC.
Homelessness Partnering Strategy
The 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.
As of July 16, 2012, 2 049 approved projects totalling over $693 million have been funded under the HPS to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada.
For more information on the HPS and the seven funding streams, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.
Office of Minister Finley
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Jean-Christophe de le Rue
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada