New Funds to Support HRMs Homeless

first_img FOR BROADCAST ONLY: Fewer people will be living in Halifax’s homeless shelters thanks to a 400-thousand-dollar investment by the province in a supportive housing initiative. The funding, announced today (May 31st) by Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse, will allow Halifax’s shelter community to hire seven new supportive housing workers as part of a pilot project. These workers will help people who have struggled to live on their own make the move from shelters to more permanent housing. Ms. Peterson-Rafuse says housing support workers can help connect people to the services they need to live independently. -30- Fewer people will be living in Halifax’s homeless shelters thanks to a $400,000 investment by the province in a supportive housing initiative. The funding, announced today, May 31, by Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse, will allow Halifax’s shelter community to hire seven new supportive housing workers as part of a pilot project. These workers will help people who have struggled to live on their own make the move from shelters to more permanent housing. “People deserve a place where they can put down roots and become part of a community. Housing support workers can help connect people to the services they need to live independently,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. “Shelters are not a long-term solution to homelessness. We need to be sure we’re helping those who can become more self-sufficient do so.” For the past two years, shelter operators in Halifax have been meeting regularly with Community Services staff to look at long- and short-term solutions to homelessness. The funding proposal for this pilot project grew out of these meetings. “Supportive housing is an important piece in the equation to end homelessness,” said Bill Pratt, executive director, Saint Leonard’s Society of Nova Scotia. “Moving from shelter living to community living can be difficult. “It’s not as easy as simply leaving a shelter one day and moving into better accommodations the next. The challenges, large and small, faced by each individual require personal solutions. And, that is where supportive housing workers fit in.” Halifax’s shelter operators will work with Community Services staff to place the housing support workers where they will be the most effective. The supportive housing workers will help people in need access housing, and other government and community-based resources and supports. Some people are on the streets because of complex mental health or addiction issues. These are the people who will benefit from the help and guidance provided by these new supportive housing workers. Arnoldo Alcayaga knows first-hand the importance of supportive housing and supportive housing workers. He is in a supportive housing program and he is doing well. “Anyone longing for a place to call home, the Saint Leonard’s Society’s supportive housing program is the answer. All one has to do is ask and the society will deliver. The rest is up to the individual. It’s working for me and I believe that it can work for anyone who is interested in changing his or her life.” The project will be evaluated and variations may be implemented in areas of the province where homelessness and shelter space are an issue. The funding for this project is on top of support already given to shelters and other not-for-profits that help people move from shelters to independent living.last_img

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