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Funds target district homelessness

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The Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board has approved the allocation of 2018-19 Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) funds to local agencies in pursuit of the goal of ending homelessness.

The CHPI is a 100-percent provincially-funded program created in 2013 that focuses on the outcomes of preventing homelessness and housing the homeless population.

The local DSSAB received $365,092 in 2018-19 from the province to be used towards services and supports in pursuit of ending homelessness in the district.

The Atikokan Youth Initiatives will see the largest approval of funds at $67,000.

The youth centre is the only such centre in the district, and offers ongoing development and delivery of youth-driven services in collaboration with others to promote skill development and empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices.

“To experience something so frightening and isolating as homelessness during a young person's formative years is inconceivable,” said Sandra Weir, Integrated Services Manager (Housing Lead) at the local DSSAB.

“We are very excited to be working with Atikokan Youth Initiatives on addressing youth homelessness,” she added.

The centre intends to use the funds toward expanded hours and programming, and to be able to offer basic necessities to barriered youth who may not have access to regular provisions or hygiene items.

The local DSSAB also approved allocation of funds to the United Native Friendship Centre and Rainy River District Victim Services Program, as well as to its own homelessness program, to use toward assisting homeless individuals get access to temporary accommodations, transportation to shelter, and assist the recently-homeless obtain basic necessities, among others.

Other recipients include the Salvation Army to assist with transportation to shelters and access to basic necessities.

Individuals or families who currently are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, are encouraged to visit the DSSAB at 450 Scott St. in Fort Frances or the Rawn Road Centre in Atikokan.

You also can call 274-5349 or visit www.rrdssab.ca to learn what supports may be available.

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