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October 15, 2003
House of Compassion opens 11 new beds for homeless people in Toronto
The House of Compassion of Toronto will open the doors to provide new housing
for men and women with mental illnesses in this city. At the official opening
this morning, Tony Ianno, Member of Parliament for Trinity-Spadina announced
$462,000 under the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI), of the
National Homelessness Initiative (NHI). This announcement was made on behalf
of the Honourable Claudette Bradshaw, Minister of Labour and Federal
Co-ordinator on Homelessness, to help the House of Compassion complete
necessary renovations.

"It is so important that people with mental illness receive the support and
assistance they need to live full lives," said Mr. Ianno. "I'm very proud that
the Government of Canada is working with wonderful organizations like the House
of Compassion, with people who are committed to improving the quality of life
of their neighbours. Congratulations on the official opening of this new home."

The Government of Canada's contribution enabled the House of Compassion to
renovate three adjoining houses and add an additional 11 bedrooms to the
facility. The House of Compassion can now provide housing and supports for 21
men and women with mental illness who have previously lived in institutions,
shelters or on the street.

The City of Toronto's "Let's Build" program facilitated planning and
development for this project. In addition, the City waived municipal fees and
development charges valued at $3,500.

"The House of Compassion provides a home for people who are fragile and
vulnerable in our city culture," said Elizabeth Ziedman, Executive Director of
HOC. "We offer our residents the most basic of human needs - safe shelter and a

The House of Compassion has committed to providing equity of $325,00 towards
the purchase of the house and in-kind donations of approximately $50,000
towards furniture and appliances.

Since the Government of Canada launched the NHI in December 1999 to support
communities' efforts to help Canadians out of homelessness, more than $56
million has been invested in 47 projects in Toronto. Building on the successes
achieved, the February 2003 Budget announced $405 million for three years to
continue the commitment to addressing homelessness in Canada.

As part of the NHI, the SCPI is continuing to make a difference by encouraging
the development of flexible, community-driven solutions to help alleviate
homelessness. Funding for this initiative is provided for in the February 2003
federal budget.

For more information on the Government of Canada's National Homelessness
Initiative, visit our Web site at

Media contacts:
Deborah Wallace, Government of Canada, 416-954-7302
Elizabeth Zeidman, The House of Compassion of Toronto, 416-921-4763
Cynthia Ross, City of Toronto, 416-392-0546



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