YARMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - July 31, 2012) - Vulnerable youth will benefit from a wide range of support services, announced Greg Kerr, Member of Parliament for West Nova, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
"Our government is giving a hand up to Canadians to help them meet certain basic needs and break free from the cycle of homelessness and poverty," said Mr. Kerr. "By partnering with SHYFT Youth Services Society to provide essential services to youth in need, we are doing our part to prevent and reduce homelessness in Nova Scotia."
"We are delighted to be in a position to be offering our programming and outreach services to at-risk and homeless youth in the tri-counties of South West Nova," stated Bernadette MacDonald, co-chair of SHYFT Youth Services Society. "Our approach is to provide intervention services that will assist in stabilizing and potentially reducing further homelessness in the youth population."
SHYFT Youth Services Society is using Homelessness Partnering Strategy funding of over $150,000 to provide a variety of services to youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Services include mentoring, referrals to employment opportunities and skills training, and transportation to appointments and emergency services.
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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.
The HPS took effect on April 1, 2007 with annual funding of $134.8 million for two years. In September 2008, the Government committed to investing more than $1.9 billion in housing and homelessness programs over five years. A renewal of the HPS extended that commitment to March 2014.
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.
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.
The HPS encourages a housing-first approach, recognizing that housing stability is an important first step in addressing homelessness. It is also necessary for the success of other interventions such as education and training, the development of life skills and the management of mental health issues.
For more information on the HPS and the seven funding streams, please visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca/homelessness.