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B.C. outlines funds for youth aging out of care as part of homelessness strategy

A message is spray painted on the outside of a tent at a homeless encampment at Strathcona Park in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 30, 2021. The B.C. government is expanding supports for former youth in care as part of a cross-government approach targeting the root causes of homelessness.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck. DD

The British Columbia government is expanding supports for former youth in care as part of a cross-government approach to target the root causes of homelessness.

Several cabinet ministers gathered for a news conference to share details of $633 million first announced in Budget 2022 for supports over three years for people experiencing homelessness.

Read more: B.C. takes aim at homelessness crisis in 2022 budget

Mitzi Dean, minister of children and family development, says $35 million over three years will help former youth in care, almost half of whom experience homelessness at some point in their lives.

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It will help cover an unconditional one-year income supplement of $1,250 per month that Dean says will not be limited by earnings, so youth have an incentive to work and build independence.

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The young adults will also be eligible for a $600-a-month rental supplement and increased access to counselling, medical benefits and life-skills programming.

Read more: Report calls for B.C. plan to end youth homelessness, informed by youth themselves

Other funds to help the homeless outlined by the ministers include $164 million to expand the government’s complex-care housing program and $264 million for a permanent housing plan to support about 3,000 people who were temporarily housed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the first time the province has created a comprehensive cross-government approach to supporting youth in and from care,” Dean says.

 

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