[Hpn] A new strategy for helping the homeless

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Tue, 29 Jan 2008 03:53:59 -0500


This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_005E_01C8622A.940C1F30
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

A new strategy for helping the homeless
Monte Solberg, National Post =20

http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=3D270370

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In October's Speech from the Throne, the federal government gave voice =
to Canadians' desire to aid the most vulnerable people in our country -- =
namely, "those seeking to break free from the cycle of poverty and =
homelessness."
Sadly, even in a country as wealthy as this one, poverty and =
homelessness persist. The mentally ill and the addicted are especially =
susceptible. But poverty also haunts seniors, recent immigrants, lone =
parents and the disabled. A quick detour off the main road, and you are =
apt to see it on display amongst aboriginals living on reserve.

The causes of poverty are complex. The issues also tend to change from =
community to community. That's why the government introduced the new =
$270-million Homelessness Partnering Strategy last spring. The strategy =
brings together different levels of government under the leadership of a =
local community organization so that local problems can be tackled with =
local solutions. It leverages the resources, expertise, efficiency and =
compassion of community professionals, the not-for-profit sector, =
volunteers, business leaders and, of course, the services of all levels =
of government. We believe this is both a more effective and more humane =
approach than the grand (and thus far uncosted) schemes that we still =
hear being proposed by opposition politicians in Ottawa.

Our government's philosophy is to try to prevent homelessness and =
poverty whenever possible. But if a person or family does become =
homeless, the goal of the strategy is to immediately house them so that =
they can then receive the guidance, treatment and support they need to =
escape the streets. Though you would not know it from listening to =
opposition members in the House of Commons, this federal government will =
invest more on affordable and supportive housing this year than any =
government in history.

One aspect of the Conservative government's approach to poverty and =
homelessness that sets us apart from the opposition is our emphasis on =
training and work. One of the best ways to help the vulnerable is to arm =
them with the skills they need to step into the hottest job market in 30 =
years.

That is why we have more than doubled funding for the highly successful =
Aboriginal Skills Employment Partnership. In Budget 2007, we also =
announced $3-billion in new training arrangements with the provinces, =
which will help train those who have never had a Canadian job or who =
have been out of the workforce for a long time. Canadians on welfare, =
recent immigrants, many aboriginals, and the disabled will be able to =
receive the training they need to help them move from dependence to =
independence.

Meanwhile, lower taxes and the new Working Income Tax Benefit make work =
pay by offsetting the high effective marginal tax rates that punish =
those who try to escape the welfare trap. And the Universal Childcare =
Benefit helps offset costs associated with raising children.

Rather than raising taxes and setting up expensive programs that only =
benefit the bureaucracy in Ottawa, we're making specific decisions that =
benefit hard-working Canadians and their families.

Recently, I toured Vancouver's infamous Downtown Eastside, and saw =
first-hand the soul-destroying mix of mental illness, addiction and =
homelessness that plagues the area. This government believes that we, as =
a country, are morally obliged to do more to help. We also believe we =
can act most effectively when we work with local leaders to help support =
and shelter the vulnerable, and ultimately help them achieve their =
potential. - Monte Solberg is Minister of Human Resources and Social =
Development.


------=_NextPart_000_005E_01C8622A.940C1F30
Content-Type: text/html;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D"text/html; =
charset=3Diso-8859-1">
<META content=3D"MSHTML 6.00.2900.3243" name=3DGENERATOR>
<STYLE></STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV>
<H2>A new strategy for helping the homeless</H2>
<P class=3Dauthor><STRONG>Monte Solberg, National =
Post&nbsp;&nbsp;</STRONG></P>
<P class=3Dauthor><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><A=20
href=3D"http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=3D270370">http:=
//www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=3D270370</A></FONT></P>
<P class=3Dauthor><SPAN>Tuesday, January 29, 2008</SPAN></P>
<DIV class=3Dstory-tools>
<DIV class=3D"newsblock triline">
<H4>In October's Speech from the Throne, the federal government gave =
voice to=20
Canadians' desire to aid the most vulnerable people in our country -- =
namely,=20
"those seeking to break free from the cycle of poverty and=20
homelessness."</H4></DIV></DIV>
<DIV class=3Dstory-content style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 12px">
<P>Sadly, even in a country as wealthy as this one, poverty and =
homelessness=20
persist. The mentally ill and the addicted are especially susceptible. =
But=20
poverty also haunts seniors, recent immigrants, lone parents and the =
disabled. A=20
quick detour off the main road, and you are apt to see it on display =
amongst=20
aboriginals living on reserve.</P>
<P>The causes of poverty are complex. The issues also tend to change =
from=20
community to community. That's why the government introduced the new=20
$270-million Homelessness Partnering Strategy last spring. The strategy =
brings=20
together different levels of government under the leadership of a local=20
community organization so that local problems can be tackled with local=20
solutions. It leverages the resources, expertise, efficiency and =
compassion of=20
community professionals, the not-for-profit sector, volunteers, business =
leaders=20
and, of course, the services of all levels of government. We believe =
this is=20
both a more effective and more humane approach than the grand (and thus =
far=20
uncosted) schemes that we still hear being proposed by opposition =
politicians in=20
Ottawa.</P>
<P>Our government's philosophy is to try to prevent homelessness and =
poverty=20
whenever possible. But if a person or family does become homeless, the =
goal of=20
the strategy is to immediately house them so that they can then receive =
the=20
guidance, treatment and support they need to escape the streets. Though =
you=20
would not know it from listening to opposition members in the House of =
Commons,=20
this federal government will invest more on affordable and supportive =
housing=20
this year than any government in history.</P>
<P>One aspect of the Conservative government's approach to poverty and=20
homelessness that sets us apart from the opposition is our emphasis on =
training=20
and work. One of the best ways to help the vulnerable is to arm them =
with the=20
skills they need to step into the hottest job market in 30 years.</P>
<P>That is why we have more than doubled funding for the highly =
successful=20
Aboriginal Skills Employment Partnership. In Budget 2007, we also =
announced=20
$3-billion in new training arrangements with the provinces, which will =
help=20
train those who have never had a Canadian job or who have been out of =
the=20
workforce for a long time. Canadians on welfare, recent immigrants, many =

aboriginals, and the disabled will be able to receive the training they =
need to=20
help them move from dependence to independence.</P>
<P>Meanwhile, lower taxes and the new Working Income Tax Benefit make =
work pay=20
by offsetting the high effective marginal tax rates that punish those =
who try to=20
escape the welfare trap. And the Universal Childcare Benefit helps =
offset costs=20
associated with raising children.</P>
<P>Rather than raising taxes and setting up expensive programs that only =
benefit=20
the bureaucracy in Ottawa, we're making specific decisions that benefit=20
hard-working Canadians and their families.</P>
<P>Recently, I toured Vancouver's infamous Downtown Eastside, and saw =
first-hand=20
the soul-destroying mix of mental illness, addiction and homelessness =
that=20
plagues the area. This government believes that we, as a country, are =
morally=20
obliged to do more to help. We also believe we can act most effectively =
when we=20
work with local leaders to help support and shelter the vulnerable, and=20
ultimately help them achieve their potential. - Monte Solberg is =
Minister of=20
Human Resources and Social Development.</P></DIV></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV></BODY></HTML>

------=_NextPart_000_005E_01C8622A.940C1F30--