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Durham Region Receiving Funds to Protect Homeless Shelters

The Ontario government is providing new funding to help Durham Region protect homeless shelter staff and residents, and help prevent more people from becoming homeless.

Today, Members of Provincial Parliament Lindsey Park (Durham), Peter Bethlenfalvy (Pickering-Uxbridge), Lorne Coe (Whitby), and Rod Phillips (Ajax) announced by news release that the Ontario government is investing an additional $5,583,640 in Durham Region through the Social Services Relief Fund, Phase 3.

“The province is continuing support for Durham Region’s efforts to protect those experiencing or at risk of homelessness during the pandemic,” said Lindsey Park, Member of Provincial Parliament for Durham. “This over $5 million in additional funding will support shelters and help create longer-term housing solutions for the vulnerable in Durham.”

“This investment will assist our community partners with their critical work in support of those most vulnerable Durham Region residents during the pandemic,” said Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby and Chief Government Whip. “Providing relief to municipalities like Whitby and to Indigenous program partners, to support shelters and assist in creating longer-term housing solutions for those whom are homeless, or at risk, is vital.”

“This investment helps the most vulnerable community in Pickering-Uxbridge and across the Durham Region, including those experiencing or are at risk of homelessness,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge. “As we continue to respond to the pandemic, we are ensuring municipalities are equipped with the tools they need to face their most pressing social, economic, and financial challenges.”

Provincial service managers and Indigenous program partners can use the funding to acquire motel and hotel spaces to support physical distancing of shelter residents, hire more shelter staff, purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies, and add to rent and utility banks to prevent more people from becoming homeless.

“Our government remains committed to protecting our most vulnerable, by providing much needed support to service managers and Indigenous program partners, by protecting homeless shelter staff and residents, under the Social Services Relief Fund,” said Rod Phillips, MPP for Ajax. “The $5.6 million, of additional funding, will support emergency shelter facilities and help create long-term housing solutions to aid those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness here in Ajax and across the Durham Region.”

“With this significant additional funding, the Region is delighted that the Province has reconfirmed the importance of continued investment in Social Services programs to prevent and mitigate homelessness in this crucial time of COVID-19 recovery and restoration,” said John Henry, CEO & Regional Chair, Durham Region. “Thank you for recognizing the importance of supporting Durham’s most vulnerable unsheltered residents—and the staff that support them—here in Durham Region. This funding is another major step towards achieving the Region’s goal of ending homelessness by 2024.”

“Our government is once again taking immediate action to save lives by responding to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in some emergency shelters across the province,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This investment will ensure our municipal service managers can keep vulnerable people and shelter workers safe by providing them with the financial ability to take any means necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 in shelter spaces.”

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