Media advisory - Ontario Ministry of Community, Family and Children's Services
QUEEN'S PARK, ON, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - As cold weather alerts are issued, the Ontario government is working with municipalities to get people out of the cold and into shelter. Of the 23 additional emergency shelter spaces put in place during the cold weather alert, the City of Hamilton indicates at least 13 were still available in the city last night. For shelter information, space availability, or to report someone in need of shelter, contact the Wesley Drop-In Center 24 hours a day at (905) 528-5640.
The Ontario government funds 80 per cent of a maximum per diem of $38 per resident for emergency shelter costs, with municipalities covering the remaining 20 per cent. There is no cap on the number of spaces that can be created. The Ontario government is providing as much funding as it takes to ensure there are enough shelter spaces available for every person who wants one.
The Ontario government provides the City of Hamilton with approximately $8.6 million annually for homelessness programs including emergency hostel spaces. When a cold weather alert is issued, the city provides these additional emergency spaces so no one will be left out in the cold.
The province committed an additional $26 million in December 2000 to help get more people out of the cold and into shelter. The Ontario 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.
The provincial government spends $1.3 billion to provide shelter to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. This includes funding for emergency hostels, rent supplements, and funding to house people with mental illness.
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For more information on the ministry visit our website at http://www.cfcs.gov.on.ca
For further information: Anne Machowski-Smith, Ministry of Community, Family and Children's Services, (416) 325-5156; Christine Bujold, Minister's Office, (416) 325-5219