June 22, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government will provide stable funding to help emergency shelter providers reduce chronic homelessness in New Brunswick.
Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock visited the Fredericton Emergency Shelter today as part of a series of announcements outlining the province's plans to tackle housing and homelessness over the next five years.
"The homeless problem in New Brunswick is significant, although it is not as visible as in other jurisdictions," Lamrock said. "We do not have a lot of individuals sleeping on the street compared to more urban jurisdictions, but we have emergency shelters and transitional housing that are operating over capacity, and people who are 'couch-surfing' or sleeping in abandoned buildings."
The funding will help shelter providers work with government departments and agencies and other non-profit groups to help homeless individuals gain access to mental health, social assistance and supportive housing services.
"Most homeless people do not only have a housing problem," Lamrock said. "They also have other challenges such as mental illness, family abuse, and addictions. This approach will provide for a one-on-one intervention with proper supports."
New Brunswick's emergency shelters will share $250,000 in funding this fiscal year. This funding will increase to $500,000 next year and $750,000 in the third and subsequent years.
Stable funding for emergency shelters is one of the recommendations in the province's homelessness framework, A Home for Everyone. The framework is part of New Brunswick's new housing strategy, Hope is a Home, and was developed in co-operation with emergency shelter and service providers. It will provide government with direction to address chronic homelessness over the next five years.
The framework has five goals:
"We will also be pursuing an agreement in partnership with the federal government with the intent that the province becomes a major contributor in setting the direction to end chronic homelessness," said Lamrock.
MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Connor, communications, Department of Social Development, 506-444-3730.