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Federal and provincial ministers to jointly address homelessness in Ontario

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Federal and provincial ministers to jointly address homelessness in Ontario

The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services for Ontario, today announced a federal-provincial Memorandum of Understanding on homelessness.

This Memorandum of Understanding on homelessness creates a framework for the governments of Canada and Ontario to collaborate on research and data collection, as well as to explore options for horizontal pilot projects to better combat homelessness in Ontario.  Through this information-sharing initiative, the governments will be able to deepen their knowledge and understanding of homelessness and its causes, in order to help Ontario communities develop better strategies to address the needs of the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.  This also means a more efficient use of public funds to help those who are in need.

"Our government is delivering on its commitment to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  In fact, we're investing more in affordable and supportive housing than any other federal government in Canada's history," said Minister Solberg.  "By entering into this agreement, we are committing to work together with Ontario to help homeless individuals achieve self-sufficiency.  This is good news for homeless people in Ontario as the exchange of information will mean a better understanding of homelessness and its causes.  We look forward to working with other provinces and territories to improve the homelessness situation in Canada." 

"This is just one more way in which our government is working to reduce poverty in Ontario.  This agreement will support our poverty reduction strategy and will help us better track our progress and identify areas that need improvement," said Minister Meilleur.  "We are working with all levels of government to prevent homelessness, and information sharing will better equip us with the tools we need to find solutions."

The Government of Ontario financially supports a range of homelessness prevention programs delivered by municipalities to help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  This includes emergency shelters cost-shared with local municipalities, the domiciliary hostel program, and other homelessness prevention strategies that connect individuals with local services in order for them to find and maintain housing.

Partnerships are a key component of the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), which was launched on April 1, 2007.  The HPS is providing $269.6 million over two years to help communities across Canada combat homelessness more effectively.  It puts in place structures and supports that help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to achieve self-sufficiency, and fosters partnerships aimed at achieving concrete results and enhanced sustainability.

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