September 24, 2020 by Mark Buckshon
For the next six months, the federal government is planning to spend $1 billion to provide shelters to the community so no one becomes homeless amid the pandemic.
According to Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen, the program will only take applications for projects to quickly build or buy units that would also serve vulnerable populations like women fleeing domestic violence, or people at immediate risk of becoming homeless.
“It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also the economically smart thing to do,” Hussen said in an interview.
“All the costs associated with the services provided to people on the street, the criminal justice costs, the health costs, policing — all of that is way more than the cost of that project. So we have to be smart as a country to always look for more innovative solutions to house people rapidly.”
The two funding announcements give communities resources to move quickly to purchase buildings they’ve been using, like hotels, or possibly convert shelters into permanent housing, he said.
“With winter, flu season, and a possible second wave of COVID-19 all bearing down, going slow is simply not an option”, according to Tim Richter, the president of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.
What does this mean?
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