Media Release

October 29, 2015

 

Provincial Government Moves Forward on 10-Year Homelessness Plan

The Provincial Government is developing a 10-year strategy to end homelessness in Newfoundland and Labrador, with several initiatives already underway. Work on the strategy is being informed by recommendations contained in an independent consultant's report entitled A Roadmap for Ending Homelessness in Newfoundland and Labrador, prepared by Orgcode Consulting Inc., and released earlier this year.

"Earlier this year, we agreed to adopt a Housing First approach, whereby individuals in need are provided with a safe place to live, and at the same time provided with the supports they require to stabilize their lives. We are now moving forward to create the government and community-based partnerships required to make these efforts work most effectively."
- Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Seniors Wellness and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation

Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) and the Department of Seniors, Wellness and Social Development (SWSD), will co-lead the development and implementation of the plan. A number of initiatives, involving these and other departments and agencies, will move forward in the short-term. These initiatives include, but are not limited to:

  • The creation of a Provincial Advisory Council on Ending Homelessness, composed of representatives of key community-based groups and persons with lived experience.
  • The establishment of a Deputy Ministers Committee, co-chaired by the Chief Executive Officer of NLHC and the Deputy Minister of SWSD, to oversee the development and implementation of the plan;
  • An $800,000 investment from NLHC for a two-year emergency shelter pilot operation (Out of the Cold) in Happy Valley-Goose Bay;
  • The development of two more supportive housing units by NLHC in partnership with the Nunatsiavut Government, one each for Nain and Hopedale;
  • A $100,000 investment will enable NLHC to partner with the Newfoundland and Labrador Statistics Agency to begin the coordination of housing and homelessness data with service providers. This work will inform the development of a provincial Homelessness Management Information System;
  • An $88,000 investment this year, for End Homelessness St. John's and the Rapid Re-Housing component of its Intensive Case Management (ICM) program, which applies the principles of Housing First to a group of chronically/ episodically homeless individuals;
  • Three positions - one case manager and two housing co-ordinators - to be allocated to the End Homelessness St. John's Intensive Case Management Program; and
  • A $20,000 investment for a province-wide workshop on the Housing First approach.

More information on these early initiatives is included in the backgrounder below.

"We take this opportunity to thank the initial steering committee of community and government partners, who reviewed the OrgCode recommendations and advised government on the best strategies for an effective plan to help eliminate homelessness throughout our province. We are very pleased with the early initiatives that are being developed, and the work that has been completed since the OrgCode report was released."
- John Ottenheimer, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation

While a number of early actions are being announced, work on the 10-year plan to end homelessness is ongoing collaboratively among government departments as well as community partners. The full plan is expected to be released in spring 2016.

To review A Roadmap for Ending Homelessness in Newfoundland and Labrador, visit the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation website at: www.nlhc.nl.ca/documents/publications/OrgCode.pdf .

QUICK FACTS

  • The Provincial Government is developing a 10-year plan to end homelessness in Newfoundland and Labrador, with several initiatives already in the works.
  • Work on the strategy is being informed by an independent consultant's report entitled A Roadmap for Ending Homelessness in Newfoundland and Labrador, prepared by Orgcode Consulting Inc., following extensive province-wide public and stakeholder input. The report was released earlier this year.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation and the Department of Seniors, Wellness and Social Development, will co-lead the development and implementation of the plan.
  • To review A Roadmap for Ending Homelessness in Newfoundland and Labrador visit the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation website at: www.nlhc.nl.ca/documents/publications/OrgCode.pdf .

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Media contacts:

Heather May
Director of Communications
Department of Seniors, Wellness and
Social Development
709-729-0928, 697-5061
heathermay@gov.nl.ca
Jenny Bowring
Communications Manager
Newfoundland and Labrador Housing
Corporation
709-724-3055
jmbowring@nlhc.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER
Initiatives to End Homelessness

Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) and the Department of Seniors, Wellness and Social Development (SWSD), are co-leading the development and implementation of a 10-year plan to end homelessness in Newfoundland and Labrador. Some of the initiatives being developed, to date, are described below.

Provincial Advisory Council on Ending Homelessness - The Provincial Government will establish a Provincial Advisory Council on Ending Homelessness that will include representatives of key community-based groups and individuals with lived experience. The purpose of the council is to advise the minister on issues around homelessness. An Expression of Interest will be issued in December to seek membership.

Deputy Ministers Committee - A Deputy Ministers Committee, co-chaired by the CEO of NLHC and the Deputy Minister of SWSD, will oversee the development and implementation of the 10-year plan. The committee will include the deputies of Advanced Education and Skills, Health and Community Services, Child, Youth and Family Services, Women's Policy Office, Justice and Public Safety, Finance, and the Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs Office.

Out of the Cold Program - Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation will invest $800,000 for a two-year emergency shelter pilot operation in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The pilot will be developed through a partnership with the Provincial Government, the Nunatsiavut Government, the Salvation Army, and other community partners.

Supportive Living Program - Through the Supportive Living Program, and in partnership with the Nunatsiavut Government, NLHC will create two additional supportive housing units, one each for Nain and Hopedale. These units will provide supportive accommodations for up to seven individuals in need of housing.

Provincial Homelessness Management Information System - A $100,000 investment has enabled NLHC to partner with the Newfoundland and Labrador Statistics Agency to begin the coordination of housing and homelessness data with service providers. This work will inform the development of a provincial Homelessness Management Information System. The system will enhance the Provincial Government's ability to make evidence-based policy and programming decisions around homelessness.

End Homelessness St. John's

  • Rapid Re-housing Funding - An $88,000 investment is being provided, through the Department of Advanced Education and Skills, to End Homelessness St. John's this year for the Rapid Re-housing component of its Intensive Case Management (ICM) program. The program applies the principles of Housing First to a group of chronically/episodically homeless individuals. Dedicated funding for rapid re-housing will enable ICM staff to quickly provide clients with support and assistance to obtain, and then maintain, housing stability. The plan is to assist approximately 40 individuals in 2015-16 and up to 70 individuals in 2016-17.
  • Resources to Support Clients - three positions will be assigned to the End Homelessness St. John's Intensive Case Management program. One case manager and two housing coordinators will work closely with clients of the program to ensure safe and adequate housing is secured, and to work with those individuals in the development of skills to support them so that housing is maintained.
  • Housing First Workshop - A $20,000 investment, through the Office of Public Engagement's new Collaboration Incentive Fund, will be used to offer a province-wide workshop on the Housing First approach to service providers and community groups and agencies that work with people experiencing homelessness. The Housing First approach directs a person-centred approach where housing is a right, rather than a privilege. It focuses on quickly finding housing and the right supports for people who are experiencing homelessness, as well as working to prevent homelessness.