Ottawa ponies up $2 million for Housing First

Housing First initiatives in Red Deer received a $2 million helping hand from the federal government on Friday.

Housing First initiatives in Red Deer received a $2 million helping hand from the federal government on Friday.

Red Deer MP Earl Dreeshen announced $2 million in funding over five years, with $ 1.4 million designated for community initiatives and $609,760 for aboriginal projects. He made the announcement at Red Deer City Hall.

Scott Cameron, the city’s social planning manager, said the new five-year commitment will allow the agencies and organizations in the city to continue their good work.

“This adds a level of stability for organizations providing homelessness services in the community,” said Cameron, noting the federal government has been providing stable funds since 2001.

The philosophy is based on getting people into housing to give them some stability and support before dealing with issues, like mental health disorders, that make them vulnerable to homelessness.

He added it was affirming to hear the At Home/Chez Soi report supports the Housing First philosophy. The report commissioned by Mental Health Commission of Canada was released earlier this week.

Cameron said Red Deer has been a leader across the country as it adopted the philosophy in 2007. He credited the forward thinking of the community for exploring the Housing First philosophy.

The former Buffalo Hotel was converted into a Housing First project in 2007. Since then, Central Alberta’s Safe Harbour Society for Health and Housing, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and Central Alberta Women’s Outreach Society have used the same philosophy to house homeless elsewhere in the city.

More than 100 individuals in Red Deer have been served in the Housing First program and 80 per cent remain housed after they entered the program in the last year.

“Having a roof over their head is really critical to being able to deal with any other issues or challenges in their lives,” said Cameron.

Dreeshen said Red Deer has done a great job at tackling the issue in the city. He said with the federal government changing the focus to make sure the housing is there so after they can take a look at some of the other issues that land people into those circumstances.

Mayor Tara Veer said one of Red Deer’s priorities is not to just manage homelessness but to end homelessness.

Veer said the city has made great strides in recent years but they still know there is a significant gap between the number of affordable housing units they have and the units that are needed.

The requests for proposals for the funding is likely to be out in the community in early July.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

The owner of Mae’s Kitchen in Mirror, says hamlet residents were ‘disheartened’ by a recent anti-restriction protest. The restaurant is following all the health restrictions in place. (Photo courtesy Mae’s Kitchen Facebook)
‘We don’t need that’: Mirror restaurant against recent anti-restriction protest

A week after a large anti-restriction protest at The Whistle Stop Cafe… Continue reading

Olymel says 642 workers were vaccinated at clinics held onsite last week. (File photo Advocate staff)
Employee raises alarm only 54% workers vaccinated at Red Deer’s Olymel

An Olymel worker is disappointed more employees did not access COVID-19 vaccination… Continue reading

Supporters dance during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, Alta., on Saturday, May 8, 2021. RCMP say they have ticketed four people after the rally that was attended by hundreds.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta leadership responsible for protests against public health orders: expert

EDMONTON — A criminologist says a recent court order that allows Alberta… Continue reading

Proceeding with Agri-Trade in the current climate would have been financially risky for Westerner Park and likely for many of the event’s exhibitors, says Westerner Park CEO Mike Olesen. (Advocate file photo.)
Westerner Park pleased with city deal, eagerly awaiting news on Westerner Days

The collective sigh of relief may have been simply metaphorical for Westerner… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.
Kenney distances himself from caucus vote to turf dissidents with ‘personal agendas’

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he kept his distance in… Continue reading

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

People participate in an Eid al-Fitr ceremony in Overpeck County Park in Ridgefield Park, N.J., Thursday, May 13, 2021. Millions of Muslims across the world are marking a muted and gloomy holiday of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the fasting month of Ramadan - a usually joyous three-day celebration that has been significantly toned down as coronavirus cases soar. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Ramadan drives donations, memberships to giving circles

Sahina Islam can still recall the day when she heard an elderly… Continue reading

.
Pandemic record for Manitoba: Province reports 560 new COVID-19 cases

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government reported a record 560 new COVID-19 cases… Continue reading

Alberta’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. A judge is expected to rule this morning on a challenge of the United Conservative government’s inquiry into whether foreign groups have conspired against Alberta’s oil industry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Judge dismisses attempt to quash ‘anti-Alberta’ activities inquiry

CALGARY — A judge has dismissed an attempt to quash the United… Continue reading

Unifor National President Jerry Dias is seen at a meeting in Toronto, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. The head of the country’s largest private-sector union says Parliament should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, and possibly put future increases into the hands of an independent commission. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Business, labour groups clash at Senate committee over $15 federal minimum wage

OTTAWA — The head of the country’s largest private-sector union says Parliament… Continue reading

In this file photo dated Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, doses of AstraZeneca vaccines for COVID-19 sit in vials at the Fiocruz Foundation after being bottled in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Some health experts are questioning Canada's decision to accept thousands of doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine this week just for them to sit in freezers in an Ontario warehouse because provinces have shunned the idea of using any more of them for first doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Bruna Prado, FILE
Experts call on Canada to use COVAX doses of AstraZeneca or give them back

OTTAWA — Some health experts are questioning Canada’s decision to accept thousands… Continue reading

In this image from video, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2020. A U.S. lawmaker who has made a political crusade out of getting the border with Canada reopened is once again pressing his case with President Joe Biden. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-House Television via AP
New CDC guidance makes it clear: time to reopen Canada-U.S. border, congressman says

WASHINGTON — A U.S. lawmaker who has made a political crusade out… Continue reading

A used protective face mask is seen discarded on the ground in Vancouver, B.C. in May 2020. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Medical exception letters required for Albertans who don’t wear masks in public areas

EDMONTON — Alberta has moved to close loopholes people might use as… Continue reading

Most Read