Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to fund 6,900 supportive housing units
Toronto, Jan 24 (IBNS): Ontario is collaborating with the City of Toronto's health care providers, shelter operators, the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and city staff to improve access to health services for homeless people or those using shelters, media reports said.
Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is responsible for planning, funding and integrating local health services that meet the needs of over 1.3 million people living within the Toronto Central LHIN area.
"Homelessness is a very real urban issue in Canada, and addressing it is the responsibility of all citizens and all levels of government," John Tory, Mayor of Toronto said.
Ontario and the City of Toronto officials are working together to develop and implement the shelter health services pilot project over the next few months, reports said.
Renovations at 354 George Street, including the building’s HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems, are being undertaken by the province to prepare the facility for the City of Toronto to use as a temporary shelter.
Approximately 6,900 units of supportive housing for people living with mental disorders and other vulnerable people, in the Greater Toronto Area (Toronto and its adjoining cities) are being funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (OMHLC).
"The root cause of a good deal of the homelessness and shelter issues Toronto is facing tie back to mental health and addiction issues .I want to thank the Ontario government for working with the City of Toronto to implement long-term solutions to address this complex issue and its roots," Tory said.
"Our government is committed to continuing to work together with all our partners to find innovative solutions to improving access to needed health services for shelter users and increase the supply of supportive housing units in Toronto and across Ontario," Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care was quoted by the media as saying.
Hoskins also appreciated the work being done by the front-line shelter workers and health service providers rendering service towards shelter users.
Based on the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Panel on Homelessness -- established in Sep 2014 with a mandate to give advice on how to define and measure homelessness in Ontario, how to prioritize and set targets for ending homelessness, and how to build the evidence base and capacity to implement best practices around the province -- Ontario has set a goal to end chronic homelessness by 2025.
"We are committed to ending chronic homelessness in Ontario by 2025. Getting people into homes is vital to helping them live their lives to their fullest potential," Peter Milczyn, Ontario Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy was quoted as saying.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Images: sourced from Facebook