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Human Resources, Labour and Employment
March 30, 2011

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Darin King, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment:

Province Strengthens Response to Chronic Homelessness

To strengthen the province’s current response to chronic homelessness, a new Supportive Living Unit has been created within the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment.

This dedicated resource of three staff supports the goals of the Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Social Housing Plan. It enhances provincial and community capacity to address supportive living needs of individuals experiencing multiple barriers, as well as the delivery of housing support and other services which promote self-reliance.

The Supportive Living Unit will coordinate the ongoing development and implementation of the Supportive Living Community Partnership Program. This program provides $2.4 million in operating grants to non-profit organizations to increase community capacity and provide a range of services and supports that promote housing stability. Some examples of this program’s success include Choices for Youth – the Lilly Building, and the Stella Burry Housing Resource Centre.

The development of the Supportive Living Unit recognizes the leadership of communities in the development of local solutions to identified needs and positions government to work in partnership with community groups more effectively to develop province-wide services to address chronic homelessness.

Issues surrounding housing and homelessness are complex in nature; however, we know housing support services are critical to enhancing positive outcomes of other interventions that promote wellness, inclusion and self-sufficiency.

This unit will provide leadership within government in the coordination of an Interdepartmental Advisory Committee. Members of that committee are with the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services, Department of Health and Community Services, Department of Justice, Eastern Health (Representing the Regional Health Authorities), and Newfoundland Labrador Housing.

To also support this commitment, our government will develop a cross-departmental policy framework to reduce system barriers. Currently, individuals with multiple barriers go from one department to another to access the support they require. This unit will ensure a streamlined approach and ensure a greater overall impact for residents.

Our government is committed to providing those most vulnerable in society the support they require. Through many of our initiatives, we see great results and I have no doubt the creation of a new Supportive Living Unit within the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment is a step in the right direction for the future.

2011 03 30             2:30 p.m.

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