Media Advisory - Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services
QUEEN'S PARK, ON, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - As cold weather alerts continue throughout Ontario, the Harris government is working with municipalities to get people out of the cold and into shelter. As of 4:30 p.m. today, Toronto's Homeless Services Information System web site indicated at least 69 spaces were available in the city. The province is providing as much funding as it takes to ensure there are enough shelter spaces available for every person who wants one.
For shelter information, space availability, or to report someone in need of shelter, contact the City of Toronto's Street Helpline 24 hours a day at (416) 392-3777 or check Toronto's Homeless Services Information System web site at www.streethelpline.org.
The Ontario government funds 80 per cent of the cost of emergency funding with municipalities covering the remaining 20 per cent. There is no cap on the number of spaces that can be created.
The Harris government recently announced an additional $26 million to help get more people out of the cold this winter. The government is increasing the per diem rates for emergency shelters, domiciliary hostels, and residential care home programs for people with special needs related to mental health. This funding also includes a new provincial Off the Street, Into Shelter Fund to set up street patrols to encourage street people to come into a shelter, and money to provide day programming at the shelter located at the former Princess Margaret Hospital.
This is on top of $2 billion the government spends to provide shelter to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, funding for emergency hostels, rent supplements, and funding to house people with mental illness.
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For further information: Dan Miles, Minister's Office, (416) 325-5215, (416) 701-5514 pager; Dianne Lone, Ministry of Community and Social Services, (416) 325-5156; For more information visit http://www.gov.on.ca/CSS