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March 20, 2001
Community groups receive $1.9 million to help Toronto's homeless
Toronto -- The first wave of funding from the Government of Canada's
Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI) was announced today by the
City of Toronto with the release of $1.9 million. The funding will go to 34
community-based organizations that deal directly with homelessness.

In total, Toronto will receive $53 million over three years under the SCPI for
service programs and capital projects aimed at preventing and alleviating

"We are now seeing the results of years of hard work to get all levels of
government working together on homelessness," said Toronto Councillor Brad
Duguid, Chair of the City's Community Services Committee.

"Toronto is doing its share to combat homelessness, but only with provincial
and federal dollars will this problem be effectively addressed," Councillor
Duguid added. "I'm happy to see that starting to happen."

"The Government of Canada's funding for these projects through the SCPI is a
clear example of our commitment to working in partnership with the community,
the City of Toronto, and the Province, to develop successful ways to combat
homelessness," said Claudette Bradshaw, Minister of Labour and Federal
Co-ordinator on Homelessness. "I am very pleased that we are able to support
these groups who work with homeless people in Toronto and whose efforts
strengthen our communities."

This initial release of funding was designated for community-based programs and
services that serve homeless people or people at high risk of becoming

Service organizations receiving SCPI funding include such initiatives as a
mental health service for homeless children under 12 years, a community
economic development project that markets products and services offered by
homeless entrepreneurs and mediation services that help prevent people at risk
of homelessness from losing their housing. The average contribution is about
$50,000 per project.

Projects selected for funding are consistent with the Community Plan for
Homelessness in Toronto developed by the City of Toronto through the Government
of Canada's SCPI. This plan was developed in consultation with more than 50
community groups.

Community groups reported that homeless services tend to be concentrated in the
downtown core and that certain ethno-cultural communities and homeless people
with special needs are not always able to access the services they require.
Funding in this release has been targeted to the needs of under-served
communities while provincial and municipal homeless initiatives funding already
in place will be used to sustain the existing service system.

The City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario share funding for Toronto's
$100-million emergency hostel system and the City of Toronto Homeless
Initiatives Fund. This fund, administered by the City of Toronto, provides over
$7 million each year in community grants for homelessness-related support

"With the federal funding now flowing, I'm encouraged to see all three levels
of government and community organizations working together to address such a
complex issue like homelessness," said John Baird, Ontario's Minister of
Community and Social Services. "Our commitment is to provide funding to help
get people off the streets and into shelters."

The release of SCPI funding to community groups by the City of Toronto brings
the City a step closer to realizing its goal of developing a comprehensive
spectrum of supports that helps people move out of emergency shelter and into
stable housing.

The Government of Canada's Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative brings
together various partners to develop local solutions to their community's
homelessness problems and establish a seamless web of supports for the homeless
population. The $305-million SCPI is a key component of the Government of
Canada's national $753-million initiative to help alleviate and prevent
homelessness across Canada.

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