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September 7, 2000
Toronto Introduces Plan for $53-million Federal Homelessness Fund
  
Community & Neighbourhood Services - The City of Toronto will
introduce its proposed community plan for the federal Supporting Communities
Partnership Initiative (SCPI) at the September 14 meeting of Toronto City
Council's Community Services Committee. The plan will pave the way for the city
to invest $53 million in federal funds on homelessness initiatives over the
next three years.

SCPI will be used to enhance existing projects and support new projects that
help reduce homelessness, primarily by investing much-needed capital for a
range of shelter, housing and support initiatives. SCPI will also complement
existing funding for homelessness programs and services targeted to areas not
funded by other programs.

Under the Toronto plan, the city will administer federal funding for
transitional housing capital, emergency shelter capital, small capital
improvements, homeless programs and services, and community planning and
research. Many projects will be selected through request for proposal
processes, which are expected to begin this fall.

SCPI funds must receive matching funding from non-federal sources, such as the
city, the Province of Ontario, and community foundations and fundraising. Funds
are already in place from these sources, and SCPI offers a new opportunity for
all levels of government and the community to work together to alleviate
homelessness.

"These funds are badly needed and much welcomed," said Councillor Brad Duguid,
Chair of the Community Services Committee. "The $53 million won't solve the
problem, but it will definitely help. I'm pleased to see the city, the province
and the federal government sitting down with the community to put some
solutions in place. We're on the right track in dealing with homelessness. The
SCPI program will help us enhance what is working and involve the community in
adding services and projects. With this level of involvement, everybody wins."

"We are pleased to work with the City of Toronto on a community-based response
that builds on what works, and fosters partnerships with other levels of
government and the private and voluntary sectors," said the Honourable
Claudette Bradshaw, Minister of Labour and Federal Co-ordinator on
Homelessness. "This kind of partnership forms the cornerstone of the Government
of Canada's initiative to reduce and prevent homelessness."

To develop the plan, Toronto worked in consultation with a community reference
group. The priorities for using SCPI funds are based primarily on the input of
this group, and are consistent with Toronto's Homelessness Action Plan. Toronto
also worked with representatives from Human Resources Development Canada, and
the provincial Ministries of Health and Long Term Care and Community and Social
Services.

If approved by the Community Services Committee, the plan will be considered at
the Toronto Council meeting beginning October 3. Once approved by Council, the
plan will be submitted for final approval to the Honourable Claudette Bradshaw,
the federal government's Co-ordinator on Homelessness.

Copies of the Community Plan for Homelessness in Toronto are available at
Access Toronto (416-338-0338) and available on the Internet at http://www.city.toronto.on.ca. The
public is invited to comment on the plan by calling 416-397-7303 or via e-mail
at:scpi@city.toronto.on.ca.


Backgrounder:

Community Plan for Homelessness in Toronto
Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI)

  • New Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI) provides $305 million (nation-wide) in homelessness funding.
  • Toronto will receive approximately $17.7 million annually from 2000 to 2003 (ends in three years). The City of Toronto will administer SCPI on behalf of the federal government.
  • SCPI is meant to complement existing priorities and resources, not to replace them. Projects must prove their sustainability after SCPI ends.
  • SCPI must address absolute homelessness - people who are living on the street or in emergency shelters.
  • The Community Plan goes to Toronto Council in October for final approval. The plan will then be submitted to the Government of Canada for ministerial approval.
  • The city's Community Plan outlines funding priorities, how SCPI will be implemented and how the plan fits with the city's existing Homelessness Action Plan strategies.


The six Homelessness Action Plan strategies are:
  1. Reduce poverty
  2. Preserve and create new supportive and affordable housing
  3. Shift the focus from emergency to prevention responses
  4. Plan services and strategies for high-risk groups
  5. Implement a comprehensive homeless health strategy
  6. Collaborate with all levels of government.

SCPI offers Toronto a number of opportunities primarily by investing
much-needed capital for a range of shelter, housing and support initiatives.
SCPI also targets services funding to areas not funded by other
programs.
  • SCPI will not eliminate poverty or produce the affordable housing ultimately needed to end homelessness in Toronto. However, this new federal initiative is a welcome addition to the range of provincial and municipal homelessness programs.
  • A Community Reference Group of more than 50 agencies and organizations provided advice and ideas for the Community Plan. Participants were drawn from community-based groups and coalitions across Toronto.

SCPI project funding will be allocated under the following broad funding
envelopes:
  • Transitional Housing Capital: 40%
  • Emergency Shelter Capital: 20%
  • Small Capital Improvements: 10%
  • Homeless Programs and Services:15%
  • Community Planning and Research: 2%

Plus:
  • Contingency Funds: 6%
  • Administration Costs: 6%
  • Program Evaluation: 1%

The city will select projects for SCPI primarily through a request for proposal
(RFP) process. The first RFP will be issued in fall 2000.

The Community Plan proposes the following projects for immediate
funding:
  • Partners for Access and Identification program (PAID)
  • Squeegee Working Youth Mobilization (SWYM) project
  • The city's shelter-transitional housing at 28 Bathurst Street.
  • City responsibilities related to SCPI will rest with the Shelter, Housing and Support Division of Toronto Community and Neighbourhood Services. The city is accountable to Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) to ensure administration meets federal program requirements.
  • SCPI requires matching funding. Matching funding comes from the city, the province and the United Way of Greater Toronto and significantly exceeds SCPI requirements. Additional funds are raised by individual community agencies and other major foundations and fundraising vehicles.


Media Contact
Access Toronto
416-338-0338

 

 

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