Media Advisory - Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services
QUEEN'S PARK, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - As cold weather alerts continue throughout Ontario, the Ontario government is working with municipalities to get people out of the cold and into shelter. As of 12:01 a.m. today, Toronto's Homeless Services Information System web site indicated at least 95 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) 397-5022 or check Toronto's Homeless Services Information System web site at www.streethelpline.org.
The province has increased the emergency hostel per diem by 10 per cent. The Ontario government funds 80 per cent of the cost of emergency hostel funding, up to $38 per day, with municipalities covering the remaining 20 per cent. There is no cap on the number of spaces that can be put into place.
In December 2000, the Ontario government announced an additional $26 million to help get more people out of the cold and into shelter. The government increased 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 included a new provincial Off the Street, Into Shelter Fund that is helping municipalities to operate services such as street patrols to encourage those living on the street to come into a shelter.
This is on top of the $1.7 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 more information visit http://www.gov.on.ca/CSS
For further information: Ben Hamilton, Minister's Office, (416) 325-5572; Anne Machowski, Ministry of Community and Social Services, (416) 325-5156