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

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read