Feds begin $3M initiative to help P.E.I. communities tackle homelessness

Feds begin $3M initiative to help P.E.I. communities tackle homelessness

The federal government is providing almost $3 million over the next five years to help individual communities on P.E.I. take a lead in reducing homelessness.

The initiative, called Reaching Home, is part of the national housing strategy that aims to reduce chronic homelessness across the country by 50 per cent by 2028.

Reaching Home will be co-ordinated locally by the John Howard Society. They will be directed by a community advisory board that will have representatives from the municipal and provincial governments as well as agencies such as the Salvation Army, said Charlottetown MP Sean Casey.

"It's really about empowering communities to identify the strategies and the projects that work in individual communities," Casey said.

"So the federal government is the funder but the delivery mechanism and the priority centres are very much closer to the ground."

Call for proposals

Casey said the group will be charged with putting together a plan that will fit the federal objectives and criteria.

"Once that is put in place there will be a call for proposals," he said. "And that's the time for organizations and governments to come forward to say, 'We've got some great ideas that are consistent with the goals that we seek to achieve in this community.'"

Casey said the government hopes Reaching Home will make it easier for communities and organizations to leverage other funding mechanisms and help support the efforts of people that are passionate about reducing homelessness in their communities.

"The federal government can't do everything and we recognize that. And this fund is to allow for participation in good ideas."

Reaching Home was officially launched on April 1, as a replacement for the federal Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

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