Photo by Whitehorse Star
Photo by Whitehorse Star
The city has received a gift of $46,000 from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to support its effort to reduce homelessness.
City council voted at its meeting Monday to grant the gift to the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, which administers funds on behalf of the city-wide Safe at Home plan.
Whitehorse is one of 73 Canadian cities chosen by the national federation to receive funding provided by a gift to the federation from the Canadian Medical Association Foundation, council was told at its meeting.
Mike Gau, the city’s director of development services, explained the city was chosen because of its involvement with the Safe at Home plan.
“In September 2017, the city endorsed the Safe at Home plan along with the Government of Yukon (YG), Kwanlin Dun First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, creating a community-based action plan to end and prevent homelessness in Whitehorse,” council was told.
Gau said the city sits on the Community Advisory Board (CAB) that provides recommendations to the community entity that administers the federal funding for implementation of the Safe at Home plan. The anti-poverty coalition administers the funding for the implementation manager.
As a requirement to receive federal funding, the advisory board adopted the Safe at Home plan as its community plan earlier this year, council was told.
“Administration has asked CAB for a recommendation to provide to council on how to spend the gift,” Gau told council.
“CAB responded with a proposal that the gift be used to fund development and roll-out of a ‘100 Homes Campaign’ working with landlords to accept more people at risk of homelessness or to prevent evictions and therefore prevent homelessness.”
The 100 Homes Campaign falls under the umbrella of the Safe at Home plan, council was told.
Kate Mecham, the implementation manager for the Safe at Home plan, told council the $46,000 will be used to engage landlords in the community.
Engagement of landlords is essential in the 100 Homes Campaign, she said.
“We are working to develop the idea, and receiving the gift is an opportunity to develop the idea.”
Coun. Jocelyn Curteanu told her colleagues she remembers that just a few years ago, the city’s involvement in the battle against homelessness was just an idea.
There was some doubt about whether the city’s involvement would ever amount to anything other just another meeting or conference, she said.
“It is just so great to see the momentum pick up,” she said. “Our community has really embraced the plan. The gift is an acknowledgment of that work.”
Curteanu said the city’s involvement in the Safe at Home plan is one of the best things she’s seen in her eight years on council.
Several members of council applauded the work of the Safe at Home plan and the city’s involvement in that work.
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