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June 11, 2003
Homeless people in Toronto now have safe storage for their identification
  
Street Health Community Nursing Foundation, a community agency that has helped
homeless clients replace lost or stolen identification for the past 14 years,
has launched the ID Safe program to provide safe storage of identification
documents and cards. The Government of Canada, through the National
Homelessness Initiative (NHI), has provided a total of $167,895 in funding for
this project, to be administered by the City of Toronto. The Honourable Bill
Graham, Minister of Foreign Affairs, made the announcement on behalf of the
Honourable Claudette Bradshaw, Minister of Labour and Federal Coordinator on
Homelessness.

"Without identification, survival is difficult and getting off the street and
on with one's life is nearly impossible,' said Project Co-ordinator Jane Kali.
"ID Safe gives homeless people a place to store and access their
identification."

Without proper ID, homeless people may have trouble accessing many essential
services, particularly health care. Through the NHI, Street Health Community
Nursing Foundation received $52,895 for initial research and an additional
$115,000 for renewal of the project. This project will enable Street Health to
provide storage that is secure, private and easily accessible. ID Safe is
located at 2 Homewood Avenue, near Carlton and Jarvis Streets. Already, the
program has made over 1,000 referrals, of which 612 were for identification.
The ID safe currently stores identification for 33 people.

"This program provides an invaluable service to homeless people in Toronto,"
said Minister Graham. "The Government of Canada is proud to partner with Street
Health to improve accessibility to services and supports for all Canadians."

"With the launch of Street Health's ID Safe, some of Toronto's most vulnerable
people now have a secure place to protect their personal documents," said
Councillor Kyle Rae (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale). "By having a physical
location and process for homeless people to store their identification, one
more barrier has been removed."

Street Health Community Nursing Foundation is responsible for the Access to
Health Cards for the Homeless Project, and is one of the lead agencies for the
Partners for Access and Identification (PAID) Project offering ID clinics
throughout Toronto.

The Government of Canada launched the National Homelessness Initiative in
December 1999 to support communities' efforts to help Canadians out of
homelessness. Building on the successes achieved by communities, the February
2003 federal Budget announced $405 million for three years to continue its
commitment to addressing homelessness in Canada.

The Government of Canada's homelessness initiative is making a difference in
addressing homelessness by encouraging the development of local solutions to
help alleviate it. Funding for the Initiative was provided for in the February
2003 federal Budget.

For more information on the Government of Canada's National Homelessness
Initiative, visit http://www.homelessness.gc.ca

Media contacts:
Deborah Wallace, Government of Canada, 416-954-7302
Kim Oliver, Minister Bradshaw's office, 819-953-5646
Jane Kali, Street Health, 416-925-0043
Cynthia Ross, City of Toronto, 416-392-0546


Media Contact
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