Local groups that help accommodate homeless people can apply for $15M

Recipients will be announced this spring

The City of Red Deer anticipates receiving more than $15 million to help house people experiencing homelessness over the next four years from the federal and provincial governments.

As fund administrator on behalf of both levels of government, the City of Red Deer will be able to distribute this money for local housing and homelessness services and programs on the recommendation of the Community Housing Advisory Board.

The money will flow through three funding streams that run from April 1 to March 31, 2024:

* The Outreach & Support Services Initiative — a provincially funded program is expected to receive about $3.25 million annually to 2024.

* The Reaching Home (Designated) — a federally funded program will get between $550,000 and $575,000 annually over the next four years.

* And Reaching Home (Indigenous) — a federal program will receive $ 243,904 in 2020/21, as well as future amounts to be determined.

Community groups were already selected to benefit from this funding through a competitive bidding process that began late last year.

The recipients will be announced once contracts are in place, said Ryan Veldkamp, the city’s social planning supervisor.

He noted funding decisions were made considering the recently developed Community Housing and Homelessness Integrated Plan.

Allocations were also made for the Point-in-Time Homeless Count — a municipally administered survey that happens every two years in Red Deer.

Veldkamp said it calculates how many people are experiencing homelessness on the street, in shelters, the hospital or other places.

As well, funds will be made available for the Coordinated Access Administration, which assists individuals to get housed, and Innovation and Training Funds, which allow for new ideas to develop.

Mayor Tara Veer said, “We are grateful for the continued funding we receive from the federal and provincial orders of government and the opportunity it provides our community to meet local housing needs.”

Philippa Gregoire, vice-chair of the Community Housing Advisory Board, said agencies will be working together to help people experiencing homelessness, under the shared goals of the Community Housing and Homelessness Integrated Plan.

This means to implement “a responsive, sustainable, safe and effective housing and homelessness response system,” Gregoire added.

The list of recipients will be available on the city’s website this spring.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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