Edmonton receives nearly $20M as part of plan to end homelessness
Minister of Human Services Dave Hancock announces the province is putting $19.4 million to local agencies in Edmonton who offer outreach and support programs for the city's homeless. It's part of $60 million the government has pledged to seven cities in the province.
Published Thursday, December 13, 2012 2:31PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, December 13, 2012 5:33PM MST
The province announced Thursday it is giving nearly $20 million for outreach support services in Edmonton, as part of Alberta’s 10-year plan to end homelessness.
Human Services Minister Dave Hancock made the announcement at the Bissell Centre on Thursday, pledging $19.4 million will go to help homeless Edmontonians.
The $19.4 million is part of approximately $60 million that the province is committing to community-based organizations in seven cities, including $27.6 million in Calgary.
“Eliminating homelessness will build strong communities and stronger communities will help build a stronger Alberta,” Hancock said.
“Provincially, funding will provide housing options and wrap-around supports for homeless Albertans. These supports are services that address underlying causes of homelessness. They include psychiatric case management, life skills training, landlord liaison assistance and addictions counseling. These services are vital to addressing homelessness at its core so people can maintain their homes and lead fuller, healthier lives.”
The injection of $19.4 million for Edmonton’s local agencies is a $4 million increase over last year. One the programs the money will go towards is the Bissell Centre’s Homeless to Homes program.
"The program has an intensive case management team which provides housing and supports to 160 individuals and families. The funding is great news for Alberta's homeless but for our whole community," Hancock said.
In addition to the $60 million, $5 million is being given by Alberta Health to enhance existing addiction and mental health services for homeless Albertans in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge.
Edmonton’s Homeward Trust Foundation received $2 million in grant funding to help create more than 100 permanent supportive housing spaces.
"The funding coming from Homeward Trust has allowed Bissell Centre to double its work in the Housing First program so we'll now be working with 160 chronically-homeless peope, putting them into housing," said Mark Holmgren, CEO of the Bissell Centre.
Alberta’s 10-year plan to end homelessness completed its third year in March 2012.
The province says more than 6,000 formerly homeless people, including more than 1,000 families, now have homes with support to keep them of the streets.
The overall budget to support the province’s homeless population this year is $110 million.