June 13, 2018 7:33 pm

Federal Minister Jean-Yves Duclos addresses Quebecers on Canada’s improved homelessness strategy

Federal Minister Jean-Yves Duclos in Montreal during a press conference. Wednesday June 13, 2018.

Karol Dahl / Global News

The Federal and Quebec governments are renegotiating once again their Homelessness Partnering Strategy in order to implement Canada’s new “Reaching Home” plan to fight homelessness.

The Quebec and Canadian government have a special agreement adapted to the province of Quebec’s unique needs.

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It was part of the points the Federal Minister responsible for Canada’s social development, Jean-Yves Duclos, brought forward in Montreal on Wednesday.

Trudeau’s Liberals announced on Monday they’re tweaking their plans and investing more money into the fight against homelessness while reducing the restrictions to access that help.

“Reaching Home” is aiming to reduce homelessness in Canada by half in the next 10 years.

The Liberals took a long look at the existing program after hearing complaints from cities about cumbersome reporting requirements, inadequate funding and unrealistic expectations about how quickly the money should be spent.

Under new rules, cities will be given leeway to spend money on local initiatives and experiments — so long as they can meet Ottawa’s goal of cutting in half the number of chronic homeless people in their midst.

READ MORE: Feds loosen funding restrictions as part of revamp of national homelessness strategy

“Homelessness affects the most vulnerable Canadians: youth, women living in conditions of family violence, Indigenous Canadians, people with mental health and addiction issues,” Duclos said in Montreal.

“We need the Federal government to take this responsibility and therefore with the type of announcement we’re having today, we’re confident we’re going to reduce homelessness by 50%.”

The funding will expand to new communities that will be able to access funding through an application process that will be launched later this year.

READ MORE: Montreal women’s shelters raise alarm over lack of beds for homeless women

The government says they will provide more funding for appropriately cultural services to tackle homelessness within the Indigenous population.

The announcement is good news for local community organizations like the Old Brewery Mission.

The Mission says their services are providing great results already but this funding will enable them to do more.

“Certainly more support,” said Vincent Ozrout, a counselor with the Old Brewery Mission.

“Those people who are newly implanted in housing need additional support, counseling, community services, so all this new money coming in will certainly have a large impact on the number of workers in the street and certainly what they do out with the homeless here in Montreal and in Canada,” Ozrout added.

On Tuesday, the municipal government also promised more funding to support the fight against homelessness.

The Plante administration pledged more than $1.7 million to combat the issue.

The federal strategy is slated to be implemented April 2019.

With files from The Canadian Press

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