March 17, 2017 8:25 pm

Province announces $11.3M funding to combat London homelessness

Local agencies are hoping the newly announced funding from the province will help boost London's housing supports.

Global News

As the City of London endeavours to eliminate poverty, the province announced it will be kicking in more than $11 million for housing-related supports.

The money, earmarked under the Ontario government’s Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI), was announced Friday by Deputy Premier Deb Matthews, MPP for London North Centre.

The province has set out to eliminate homelessness by 2025 — a goal local agencies hope this new funding will support.

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“We’ve come a long way so far, but there’s still more to do,” Matthews said. “That’s why I’m delighted we have partners like the City of London to help us tackle this important issue.”

Ontario’s CHPI allows local agencies to use funds for services such as emergency shelters, long-term housing, and eviction-prevention programs.

“YOU is thrilled to be working with these funders and our partners to help vulnerable young people experiencing homelessness find their way home,” said Youth Opportunities Unlimited Executive Director Steve Cordes. “This is [a] major part of solving youth homelessness in our community.”

The money will be delivered in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, bringing the total amount received by London under the program to $41,769,787.

Provincial data say each $15 million spent under the initiative helps 2,600 homeless families find housing.

The key, Matthews noted, is working with local communities to target areas most needing support.

“This funding gives us the flexibility we need to address the specific challenges and needs in our community,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “London has been making progress on ending homelessness with many strategies.”

Brown pointed to the city’s “housing first” goal, as well as the recently approved Housing First Emergency Shelter for Youth and Street-Level Women at Risk programs as positive steps.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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