Region partners with community agencies to help residents who are homeless
NEWMARKET – Representatives of York Region’s Community Services and Housing Committee, United Way of York Region, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the community-at-large were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HSRDC) yesterday. The certificate recognizes the exceptional commitment and contribution made by a range of community partners in York Region to the National Homelessness Initiative.
“As a Region, we worked hard to make the most of the funding available through the National Homelessness Initiative by investing in a variety of areas that helped people who are either homeless or at risk of losing their homes across the Region,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “I am proud of the work we have done under this initiative and of the partnerships that expanded to help residents.”
The Regional Municipality of York received more than $3.8 million under the National Homelessness Initiative between 1999 and 2006. The Region coordinated this initiative with 20 different community-based agencies who received funding for minor capital projects and program and service delivery.
“Through the National Homelessness Initiative, we gained a better understanding of the needs in the Region related to homelessness prevention and support,” said Brenda Hogg, Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor and Chair of the Region’s Community Services and Housing Committee. “We were able to establish a strong planning process with the community to create new programs and address service gaps.”
Projects that received funding under the National Homelessness Initiative in York Region expanded the number of emergency shelter beds available in the Region and built the first emergency shelter for young women. Funding also supports two programs that provide temporary overnight shelter when the temperature drops below -15 Celsius. In addition, funding was used to raise awareness of issues related to homelessness, affordable housing and landlord-tenant relations.
“There is so much more that needs to be done to address the complex issues related to homelessness in York Region,” said Cylene Rainville, Co-Chair of the York Region Alliance to End Homelessness. “Ongoing, stable funding from all levels of government is crucial for this important work to continue.”
Funding under the National Homelessness Initiative ended on March 31, 2007. In December 2006, the federal government announced that the National Homelessness Initiative would be replaced by the new Homelessness Partnering Strategy on April 1, 2007. York Region will continue to work with HRSDC and its community partners to further improve services for vulnerable residents through this new initiative.
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