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Canada’s New Government Invests Over $1.3 Million in Supportive Housing for Young Mothers in Dartmouth

DARTMOUTH, Nova Scotia, April 12, 2007 — The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, today announced $1,368,713 in federal homelessness funding and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation support for a homeless shelter for young mothers and their children.

“Canada’s new government is proud to work with the Society of Supportive Housing for Young Mothers and other partners to reduce homelessness among vulnerable young mothers and their children in Dartmouth,” said Minister Solberg. “Here, young mothers and their children will find a nurturing and supporting home to learn skills in independent living, parenting, and keeping themselves and their children safe.”

"This important program will help young mothers learn skills in independent living and parenting," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. "Canada's new government is helping to provide the community of Dartmouth with homes for young mothers and their children and prepare them for future success once they are living on their own."

The housing project, formerly the North Woodside Elementary School in Dartmouth, will include 12 two-bedroom apartments and one unit for a live-in support staff/ superintendent. The program provides transitional housing for mothers aged 16 to 21, while they learn the skills they need to raise their children and live independently.

“The Supportive Housing for Young Mothers program helps some of our most vulnerable citizens — young single mothers and their children,” said Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Peter Kelly. “Halifax Regional Municipality is proud to support an initiative that will make such a positive difference by giving young mothers the support and skills they need to make better lives for themselves and their families.”

Funding of over $1.2 million for this project was provided through federal homelessness programming. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provided the Society for Supportive Housing for Young Mothers with an interest-free proposal development funding loan of $100,000. This project also received $225,000 from Halifax Regional Municipality through the donation of land and the building, and $150,000 from the United Way. The Nova Scotia Department of Community Services will provide shelter allowances to young mothers, and in-kind support will be provided by the IWK Health Centre, the Capital District Health Authority, and the Maritime School of Social Work.

"A safe, nurturing, and stable home will help these young mothers provide their children with a good start in life,” said Community Services Minister Judy Streatch. “We’re very pleased to provide assistance so that these mothers and their families can stay in a comforting and supportive home environment.”

“We are confident that with safe shelter, onsite staff support, and the peer motivation of other young mothers, the cycle of poverty can be broken,” said Maura Donovan, Chairperson of the Society for Supportive Housing for Young Mothers. “Our goal is to help young mothers build a future filled with promise and opportunity.”

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy came into effect on April 1, 2007, and replaced the National Homelessness Initiative.

The new Strategy is providing $269.6 million over two years to help communities across Canada combat homelessness more effectively. The strategy focuses on a housing-first approach to homelessness, recognizing that housing stability is essential to self-sufficiency and full participation in Canadian society. With its clear goals of improved partnerships, enhanced sustainability, and tangible results, the new Strategy will provide concrete, meaningful, and lasting results for Canadians in need.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

For more information:

Pema Lhalungpa
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Solberg
819-994-2482

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and
Social Development Canada
819-994-5559

Mary-Jana Wege
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
902-426-6581
mwege@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Karen White
Communications Advisor
NS Community Services
902-424-4038

John O’Brien
Manager
Corporate Communications
HRM
902-490-6531

Wendy Fraser
Executive Director
Supportive Housing for
Young Mothers
902-465-2212