(TORONTO, ON) – Ontario is partnering with municipalities across the province to prevent and address homelessness. Through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative, the province is providing $587 million to municipalities to help families and individuals at risk of homelessness get the housing that best suits their needs. Toronto will receive $223 million over two years.
Ontario is maintaining the current Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative funding allocations for two years pending the outcomes of the Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness and the 2015-16 update to the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy.
“We know that homelessness costs Ontario’s economy and we are looking at transforming programs and services for people, to ensure they are focused on outcomes for people,” said Deb Matthews, Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy. “The Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative is a great example of how we streamlined five programs into one that responds to individual community needs and is delivering better results for people.”
This funding will enable communities to offer a wider range of services to meet their local needs, including:
- Setting up emergency shelters for people in crisis.
- Offering homelessness prevention programs like providing emergency financial assistance to prevent eviction.
- Providing a mix of long-term and transitional housing.
- Other support services like street outreach, food banks and transportation.
As of March 31, 2014, the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative has helped over 33,100 families and individuals experiencing homelessness obtain housing, and has helped approximately 83,800 families and individuals at-risk of homelessness remain in their homes.