The National Homelessness Initiative (NHI) was launched in December 1999 to reduce and prevent homelessness in Canada. A key component of the NHI was the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative (SCPI), which provided funding and support to community-based projects and programs working towards NHI goals. SCPI brought together all levels of government and the community to collaborate and partner on the development and implementation of local Community Plans to address the issues of homelessness, both in the immediate and long term.
In late 2000, the Greater Moncton Steering Committee on Homelessness (GMHSC) was established to provide leadership in the development of the Community Plan for the tri-community region of Moncton, Riverview, and Dieppe. During the first few months of 2001, the GMHSC worked closely with Human Resource Development Canada (now called Service Canada) and a research team from W. Morrison & Associates in Fredericton, NB to gather information from service providers, key stakeholders and homeless people about the assets and gaps in services in the region. Following an extensive consultation process, a Community Plan was developed in May 2001 that identified key priorities for project funding under the SCPI.
In early 2003, the federal government announced its intention to continue to fund SCPI, and communities were asked to update their Community Plans accordingly. The GMHSC again provided leadership. In the spring of 2003, it organized a Community Forum on Homelessness to bring together 70 representatives from more than 50 groups and agencies, including service providers, non profit organizations, churches, government agencies, and key stakeholders. Key priorities were identified, such as increasing the number of shelter spaces, increasing the number and availability of adequate and affordable housing units, developing partnerships among those who work with homeless people or those at-risk, reducing social exclusion and building awareness. For more detail, see the GMHSC Community Plan 2003.
In April of 2007, the government announced a new Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), to build upon the NHI by focusing on a "housing-first" approach to homelessness in Canada. By working with communities, provinces and territories, partners in the private and not-for-profit sectors and Aboriginal partners, the Strategy encourages an effective alignment of federal/ provincial/territorial investments to help homeless individuals and families to access the range of services and programs that they need to move towards self-sufficiency.
In summer of 2007, approximately a dozen GMHSC members submitted proposals for projects to the Community Advisory Board, a body made up of community members that makes recommendations to the HPS for funding. For more information on projects funded for the 2007-09 period and key priorities to eliminate homelessness and poverty in Greater Moncton, see the GMHSC Community Plan 2007.
In 2009-11, HPS funding supported the construction of a 10-unit transitional housing project for adult males. The project was carried out by the John Howard Society of Southeastern New Brunswick. Funding was also provided for a part-time Community Development Officer, whose role is to raise awareness of homelessness in Greater Moncton. Click here for the GMSHC 2011-14 Community Plan.
In 2011-14, with HPS funding, the Moncton YWCA launched a Supportive Housing for Women program. It also did initial groundwork for a building that will house pregnant teens and young moms (who often become homeless without supports). Funding was also provided for a part-time Community Development Officer, whose role is to raise awareness, collect data and monitor progress on homelessness in Greater Moncton.
In 2014 to 2019, we will move towards a Housing First model, which means housing those who are homeless, and then providing them with the supports that they need to remain housed. Click here for the GMHSC 2014-19 Community Plan.
The Greater Moncton Homelessness Steering Committee (GMHSC) is a multi-stakeholder committee that works toward ensuring that Greater Moncton has an effective and responsive system in place to prevent homelessness from occurring and ensure instances that do occur are rare, brief and non-recurring.
The GMHSC is the Community Advisory Board (CAB) for Greater Moncton under the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnership Strategy.
Homelessness Partnership Strategy Priority Areas 2014-2019:
- To reduce homelessness through a Housing First (HF) approach;
- To improve the self-sufficiency of homeless individuals and families and those at imminent risk of homelessness through individualized services;
- To preserve or increase the capacity of facilities used to address the needs of people who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness;
- To ensure coordination of resources and leveraging;
- To improve data collection and use.
Did you know?
During 2015, Crossroads for Women Inc. housed 107 individual women and 44 children fleeing domestic violence. The average stay for most individuals or families is 30 days.