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Human Resources, Labour and Employment
July 21, 2011

New Position to Help Address Homelessness Issues

The Neighborhood of Friends Family Resource Centre is now able to help people with complex needs access stable housing with funding from the Provincial Government. The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and Lead Minister for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, announced $67,060 for the organization today through the Supportive Living Community Partnership Program to create a Housing Support Worker position.

“This new position addresses an identified need to enhance supports for people who face multiple barriers in their efforts to access housing,” said Minister King. “It was determined that one-on-one support is the best way to help people in this vulnerable circumstance, and so this funding will provide for a dedicated staff person available to people in the area.”

Headquartered in Clarenville, the new housing support worker will provide comprehensive housing assistance to people living in the Clarenville-Bonavista Rural Secretariat region. This region includes the Bonavista Peninsula, Clarenville area and the isthmus - extending from the tip of the Bonavista Peninsula to Terra Nova, Swift Current and Long Harbour. Assistance provided by the housing support worker will include, but not be limited to, searching for available housing alternatives to suit people’s needs, helping people access government programs and services, and providing guidance on how to maintain housing stability.

“People who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances often face more than one challenge in their efforts to find a place they can call home, but now they do not have to face those challenges alone,” said the Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Environment and Conservation and MHA for Trinity North. “I’m pleased to see such a valuable resource headquartered in this area, and I look forward to seeing people benefit from this new form of comprehensive housing support.”

This new staff position was created through a partnership between the Regional Action Committee on Housing (REACH) and the Neighborhood of Friends and Family Resource Centre as part of community efforts to address local housing and homelessness issues.

“Working closely with REACH, we have created an opportunity for vulnerable people to talk directly with a knowledgeable and supportive person who can help them navigate their housing needs,” said Colin Holloway, Chairperson for the centre. “We are very excited to advance efforts to address homelessness in our region of the province, and we look forward to making a positive long-term impact with this funding from the Provincial Government.”

An initiative of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Supportive Living Community Partnership Program provides funding to community-based organizations so they can develop comprehensive housing supports for people who need them. Projects funded through the program have focused on building capacity among community-based organizations, extending regional outreach services, providing training and professional development, and sharing best practices.

The program began in 2009 with a budget of $1.2 million, which was doubled in 2010 to $2.4 million, and doubled once more to $4.8 million through Budget 2011 Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador. Today’s announcement is part of the $840,000 that was distributed to multiple community-based organizations to conclude the 2010-11 funding period. A call for proposals will soon be issued for 2011-12 program funding.

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Media contacts:

Bradley Power
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 699-5707
Caroline Frost
Constituency Assistant to
Honourable Ross Wiseman
MHA for Trinity North
Colin Holloway
Neighborhood of Friends and Family Resource Centre

2011 07 21                                                                                2:40 p.m.

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