Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach announced further funding and the results of the province’s plans to end homelessness within 10 years on the first anniversary of the program at the Mustard Seed Church yesterday morning.
“I’m very pleased with the progress we have made,” Stelmach said. “Quite frankly, it’s a lot of progress in a short period of time.”
Since the plan was implemented a year ago, 933 new housing units have been developed and more than 1,300 homeless people have found permanent homes, according to a report issued by the Alberta government.
“The 10-year plan will provide a homeless person with a permanent dwelling, and the support they need to address the underlying causes of homelessness within 21 days of entering the shelter,” Stelmach explained.
Stelmach also announced the province will be giving $12 million to the Mustard Seed Society to build 112 homes for homeless people in Edmonton and Calgary.
“These units will provide them with a stable place to address their challenges,” Stelmach said, adding the homes will allow the homeless to “get the fresh start that they’re looking for.”
Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Jonathan Denis added that in addition to funding, community support is essential to ending homelessness.
“Alberta has a plan that is working because it focuses not just on individuals, but also innovation, partnerships and community engagement,” Denis said.
Alberta’s 2010 budget adds another $100 million to the homeless Request for Proposal grant program, and increases funding for support and services to $42 million.