Homelessness is a longstanding issue in Halton and beyond, and now, the province is investing in local and innovative approaches with the grand goal of ending homeless in Ontario.
Supportive housing and services galore are coming to Ontario to end homelessness by 2025. According to the province, chronic homelessness refers to the state of being homeless for six months or more in the past year.
“Our goal is to end chronic homelessness by 2025, and we’ll only reach it by making smart investments in what works and leveraging lessons learned into meaningful action across the province,” said Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy. “By supporting the innovative work of Ontario’s municipalities we will end chronic homelessness, substantially reduce poverty, and deliver a brighter future for every person who calls our province home.”
The province is partnering with municipalities in order to help people in need find stable housing and gain access to crucial support services, such as counselling, addictions services and life skills training.
Getting people into houses is of utmost importance in the province’s goal to end chronic homelessness by 2025.
Overall, Ontario is boosting its operating funding for housing assistance and support services up to a total of $100 million annually beginning in 2019 or 2020. That investment will bring the total investment up to $200 million over three years. Up to 6,000 households will be supported by this massive investment.
This is all a part of Ontario’s supportive housing program that was announced in March 2017, and the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy.
An Indigenous housing strategy is also in the works – Indigenous communities are significantly overrepresented among the homeless population and are more likely to face difficulties finding a place to call home compared to non-Indigenous people in Ontario, according to the province.
The Indigenous housing strategy is in partnership with Indigenous organizations in order to address the unique housing challenges and needs of First Nation, Metis and Inuit Peoples.
As for Ontario’s goal to end chronic homelessness across the province, it’s a 10-year strategy that started in 2015 with an expert advisory panel on homelessness.
The province has revealed that Toronto is receiving $90 million over a three year period towards poverty reduction, and funding for Halton and beyond will be announced later this fall.