New agreement between the governments of Canada and Quebec to help Quebecers experiencing or at risk of homelessness to protect themselves from COVID-19
August 13, 2021 Quebec, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, and Quebec’s Minister for Health and Social Services, Lionel Carmant, today announced that an additional $48.5 million in federal funding is being made available to communities in Quebec for 2021–2022 under the Reaching Home program to support the homeless-serving sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec.
The pandemic continues to have a real and tangible impact on the health and safety of communities. The repercussions are more severe for people whose living conditions are uncertain or who have no place to live.
In accordance with the Canada-Quebec Agreement to support the homeless-serving sector’s response to COVID-19 under Reaching Home, integrated health and social services centres and integrated university health and social services centres will continue to manage the funding available in their territories with the freedom to respond to priorities to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This additional funding provides community organizations across Quebec with the flexibility they need to respond to community priorities, such as reducing shelter overcrowding, setting up isolation spaces, providing permanent housing solutions or providing direct medical services.
In addition to addressing the impact of COVID-19, communities receiving Reaching Home funding can use the funding to provide housing and support services to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable home. This funding will help ensure that Quebec communities can continue to safely support people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness as we face the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. We will continue to work with our partners in the Government of Quebec to ensure that no one is left behind.”
– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen
“We have seen in recent months that during a pandemic, there is a greater demand for organizations working with people experiencing homelessness. Needs are increasing, and their resources are struggling to meet these needs. This additional funding under Reaching Home is a testament to the great collaboration between our two governments, which I welcome. It will enable those working with people experiencing homelessness to do more. I would like to acknowledge their tenacity and remarkable commitment to these vulnerable clients.”
– Minister for Health and Social Services of Quebec, Lionel Carmant
The Canada-Quebec Agreement on Reaching Home 2019-2024 was signed in 2019. It sets out how the two governments can work together to implement the Reaching Home program while respecting Quebec’s skills and priorities.
The Canada-Quebec Agreement to support the homeless-serving sector’s response to COVID-19 under Reaching Home builds on the terms and principles of collaboration established in previous homelessness agreements and is based on the structures of Quebec’s service delivery organizations
In its Fall Economic Statement 2020, the Government of Canada announced additional funding of $299.4 million for 2021–2022 through Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy. This additional funding is intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in emergency shelter services and to prevent vulnerable people from ending up on the streets.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Government of Canada has invested close to $400 million across the country, including $70.5 million in Quebec, in emergency funding related to COVID-19 to support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness through Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.
In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada committed to invest an additional $567 million across Canada for 2022–2023 and 2023–2024 through Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.
In Quebec, since the beginning of the pandemic, many actions were taken to limit its impact on people experiencing homelessness, such as the addition of emergency shelter beds, the publication of various clinical and organizational support documents to better assist institutions in the health and social services network and community organizations.
The Government of Quebec is currently working on the next homelessness interdepartmental action plan, which will provide concrete measures to prevent homelessness and improve the well-being of people experiencing such a situation.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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