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Wings of Providence Residence Opens in Edmonton

EDMONTON, Alberta, November 21, 2003 — WINGS (Women in Need Growing Stronger) of Providence celebrated the official opening of its 20-unit, $4.75 million transitional, supportive housing residence today. The residence provides access to much-needed services that will help women and their children lead more independent, active and secure lives.

In making the joint announcement, the Honourable Steven Mahoney, Secretary of State responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Honourable Stan Woloshyn, Minister of Seniors Responsible for Housing, and Councilor Dave Thiele praised the collaborative efforts of the funding partners.

The partners include: the Edmonton Housing Trust Fund (EHTF) ($1.02 million contribution); CMHC ($438,509 contribution through the Shelter Enhancement Program) and; the City of Edmonton ($332,500 contribution through its Low Income Housing Capital Assistance program). The remaining $2,958,000 was raised through generous community contributions and the efforts of the Wings of Providence Society.

"This project is an excellent example of how the Government of Canada is working with local groups to help provide safe, secure accommodations for victims of family violence," said Secretary of State Mahoney. "Dealing with violence and family breakdown will help those most in need at the community level."

Founded in 1986, WINGS provides on-site programs, counseling services and 24-hour security for women and children who have experienced family violence. The new facility will allow WINGS to increase their capacity to provide 20 families or approximately 60 people with independent accomodation in a safe, secure, supportive environment.

Approximately 75 to 80 per cent of WINGS’ former residents are currently living free of abuse, breaking the cycle of violence for themselves and for generations to follow.

The Honourable Claudette Bradshaw, Minister of Labour and Federal Coordinator on Homelessness congratulated WINGS and the people of Edmonton, "who are working together to create positive change through the assistance of National Homelessness Initiative and other programs aimed at helping Edmontonians in need."

Pat Garrett, Executive Director of WINGS, recognized the project as, an example of what governments, community organizations, the private sector and concerned citizens can do when they work together in partnership.

"It is important to ensure that those who are most in need receive assistance to enable them to participate fully in the community," said Garrett. "Violence in the home is a community issue that calls for a community response. When the fires of violence are extinguished, communities inevitably become safer for all. By breaking the cycle, in this generation, we leave a legacy of peace and safety for our children and grandchildren. November is Family Violence Prevention Month, a very timely month for the official opening of the new Wings of Providence Shelter."

The Edmonton Housing Trust Fund (EHTF) works in partnership with all three levels of government and the community, and serves as the vehicle for the Edmonton Community Plan on Homelessness 2000 -2003 by consolidating public, not-for-profit, and private sector funding that can be used to address the highest priority needs of the community.

For more information, contact:

Pat Garrettt, Executive Director
WINGS of Providence
(780) 426-4985

Debbie Saidman, Executive Director
Edmonton Housing Trust Fund
(780) 496-2630

Jason Cobb
CMHC
(403) 515-2903

Backgrounder

The Edmonton Housing Trust Fund Partnership Agreements

The Edmonton Housing Trust Fund (EHTF) works in partnership with all levels of government and the community. One of the main functions of the EHTF is to serve as the funding vehicle for long term supportive housing in Edmonton by consolidating public, not-for-profit, and private sector funding so that it can be used to meet the highest priority needs in Edmonton. The EHTF has funding agreements with the Government of Canada, the Province of Alberta, and the City of Edmonton under various programs to support this mandate.

Government of Canada

The National Homelessness Initiative (NHI) was built on the premise that no one individual, organization, level of government, or sector of Canadian society can fully address homelessness on its own. A total of over $34.2 million in funding ($17.1 in 1999 – 2003, plus another $17.1 for 2003 – 2006) has been allocated to the Edmonton Housing Trust Fund through the NHI’s Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative. To date, the EHTF has approved 20 projects valued at $15.3 million. Projects funded through the NHI are designed to address the needs identified in the Edmonton Community Plan on Homelessness, which was developed to address Edmonton’s homelessness issues.

Funding for the Initiative was provided for in the February 2003 federal Budget and is built into the existing fiscal framework.

For more information on the Government of Canada’s National Homelessness Initiative, visit www.homelessness.gc.ca or contact: Kim Oliver, Minister Bradshaw’s office at (819) 953-5646.

Government of Alberta

Through the Provincial Homelessness Initiative, Alberta Seniors (Ministry responsible for Housing) allocates funds on a year-to-year basis to community-based organizations in each of the seven major urban centres (Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray), in accordance with approved community plans based upon the program criteria.

For more information on the Government of Alberta’s Provincial Homelessness Initiative, visit www.seniors.gov.ab.ca or contact: Ed Conway, Public Affairs Officer, Alberta Seniors at (780) 415-9950.

City of Edmonton

The City of Edmonton as a founding member of the Edmonton Housing Trust Fund, appoints one of the seven trustees and provides approximately $1.2 million in funding to the Trust annually.

For information on Edmonton’s housing and homelessness initiatives, visit: www.edmonton.ca or contact: Kathy Barnhart, City of Edmonton Community Services, at (780) 496-5838.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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