Pilot Project to Combat Homelessness in Brandon

Homeless in Thunder Bay - image taken October 26 2015 - Ontario promises to end homelessness in ten years.
Homeless in Thunder Bay - image taken October 26 2015 - Ontario promised to end homelessness in ten years.
Homeless in Downtown Fort William
Homeless in Thunder Bay means finding space. Often Shelter House is full.

BRANDON, MANITOBA — The governments of Canada and Manitoba have a launched a new two-year pilot project to help people who are at risk of becoming homeless find stable and safe housing.

The announcement was made by Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and Manitoba Families Minister Scott Fielding.

“Our Government is committed to providing communities the support they need to build capacity to develop local solutions to homelessness”, said Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Status of Women, and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South. “Access to adequate, affordable housing is the foundation for socio-economic success. It supports better education and health outcomes, better employment prospects and better community engagement and cohesion, not to mention economic growth and financial security.”

The Housing First Rent Supplement program will provide up to $250 per month in a rental subsidy for at least 48 vulnerable families and individuals in Brandon who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. In total, more than $307,000 will be invested in this initiative over the next two years through the federal-provincial Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) agreement.

“This pilot project recognizes that many people can face challenges finding suitable housing, even though it is often the first step for many people to stabilize their lives, feel safe and become a part of a community,” said Fielding. “This rent supplement program provides financial support, while also connecting participants with other resources to improve their futures over the longer term. This is the first time the Manitoba government has partnered with a community agency on this type of program and we look forward to learning more about how it affects recipients and their overall success.”

The program will be delivered by the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF). MMF will select eligible recipients and connect them with other needed community supports, with the goal of helping participants become successful tenants and move toward greater independence.

“We are thrilled Brandon was chosen as a test site to deliver the Housing First Rent Supplement program,” said Leah LaPlante, vice president, Manitoba Métis Federation Southwest Region Inc. “This additional funding increases our capacity to connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness with affordable housing options, along with the supports they need to achieve housing stability. We are committed to working with our partners to ensure successful implementation of the program. This funding announcement is in large part a recognition of our community’s commitment to effective collaboration and service coordination and we are confident this investment will pay huge dividends through improved health and socio-economic outcomes, along with a reduction in the use of emergency services.”

The Canada and Manitoba governments recently announced an expanded commitment to the IAH agreement, representing almost $90 million over the next two years. The new funding is in addition to approximately $166 million in joint eight-year funding to help create more affordable housing options in Manitoba.

For more information about the Manitoba Métis Federation Southwest Region Inc., visit www.southwestmmf.ca.

For more information about housing programs in Manitoba, visit www.gov.mb.ca/housing.

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