Canada’s first national report card on homelessness shows a surprising drop in the number of people sleeping on urban streets.
The federal government was given credit for its National Homelessness Initiative, launched in 1999 and renewed this past March (it’s been renamed the Homelessness Partnering Strategy). It puts approximately $25 million a year into the hands of municipalities to “find local solutions for homeless people and those at risk.”
The Mental Health Commission of Canada, funded by Ottawa, was also praised for its At Home/Chez Soi program, which provides mentally ill homeless people in five cities with a place to live so they can stabilize their lives and get into treatment programs.
The authors saved their highest accolades for municipalities. They hailed cities and towns across the country for their creativity, willingness to experiment and determination to prevent, not just manage, homelessness. Toronto’s Streets to Homesprogram, its 10-year affordable housing plan and willingness to integrate harm reduction strategies into programs won particular praise. Well done Canada. Read the full article at The Star.