In 2000, through the National Homelessness Initiative (NHI), our community came together to begin addressing homelessness in a more coordinated and collaborative way.
Today, we continue to work together under the new Homelessness Partnering Strategy, which replaced the NHI in 2007. Since 2000, both programs have invested $16.5 million in projects to address homelessness in St. John’s and across Newfoundland and Labrador.
We started in 2000 by forming a committee to set priorities and guide our work. The St. John’s Community Advisory Committee on Homelessness brings together people from all walks of life, including those who’ve experienced homelessness.
Our committee is co-chaired by the community (Marie White) and the federal government (Mike Bruce), and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy is delivered by Service Canada.
We engaged individuals, organizations and governments to develop our first Community Plan for Addressing Homelessness in St. John’s in 2001. The plan’s priorities led to investments in increased shelter space and alternative shelter options, transitional and supportive housing, community development, and improved coordination of partners and resources.
Once those investments were made and our Community Plan was implemented, we completed a Community Plan Assessment in 2003 to gauge our progress in meeting our goals.
In 2003, the Committee approved a Community Plan Update, setting new priorities to guide local homelessness investments for the 2003-2006 period. The NHI provided $8.6 for projects addressing the new priorities, which included housing research, enhanced housing options for vulnerable populations, and community development, coordination and partnerships.
The federal government announced the creation of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) in December 2006 to replace the NHI, with a focus on a “housing first” approach to homelessness, recognizing that secure and stable housing promotes self-sufficiency and full participation in Canadian society. The HPS will provide approximately $2.5 million in Newfoundland and Labrador between 2007 and 2008.
The St. John’s Community Advisory Committee is completing its Community Plan Assessment for the 2003-2006 period, and will prepare a new Community Plan with priorities for investments during 2007-2008 under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy.
In addition to guiding plans and investments to address homelessness, the Committee also raises public awareness, engages policy makers and partners, and sponsors special events – all aimed at fostering a shared responsibility in developing housing solutions for those who need them most.
Visit the St. John's Community Advisory Committee on Homelessness' website