What is HPS?
The Homelessness Partnering Strategy Program (HPS) is a program funded by the federal government designed to prevent and reduce homelessness as a long term strategy and to address current on the street challenges of people and families who are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness.
Homelessness cuts across all demographic lines and includes men, women, youth, seniors and families. There are as many reasons for homelessness as the individuals and families who are homeless or who are the risk of homelessness. Some of the primary reasons are poverty, breakdown of relationships, mental health issues, addictions and unemployment. Societal issues include the residential school experience, lack of available mental health supports, running veteran's challenges including PTSD, low levels of social assistance rental rates and the lack of affordable housing.
The HPS program provides funding for emergency shelters, transitional housing and support services focusing on a Housing First approach. The goal of the program is to provide a long term solution to homelessness and reduce the number of people who are living on the streets by providing them housing first and appropriate social supports that will contribute to healthy living and long term tenancy.
What is Housing First?
Housing First is based on the concept that the immediate need of people who are homeless is the need to have a place to live and that the other individual challenges can be addressed by wrap around social supports to encourage healthy living and long term stable tenancy and with a goal of permanent housing. Housing placements by social supports encourage better outcomes for the individuals and families who are homeless or at the risk of being homeless.
HPS encourages partnerships between organizations, housing providers and social agencies in order to provide for wrap around supports to individuals and families who are homeless or who are risk of homelessness.
Community Driven Program
The HPS program was first implemented in April of 2007. It is a Community Driven initiative and funding is provided from the federal government to Community entities or designated local organizations acting as Community Entities. Community Advisory Boards assess and review projects and recommend to the Community Entity the projects that address priority funding areas.
The Provincial Métis Housing Corporation was designated a Community Entity for the Aboriginal HPS component of Saskatchewan in 2014. PMHC provides Aboriginal HPS funding to all areas of Saskatchewan with the exception of the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, and we do not provide funding on-reserve.
The PMHC Aboriginal HPS program has an Aboriginal Homelessness Advisory Board (AHAB), that assesses and reviews proposals and recommends funding to the projects that address priority funding needs.
Three Funding Streams
In total there are three dedicated funding streams that communities and organizations can apply to for funding to address homelessness in their communities. The funding streams are:
- HPS designated funding
The HPS program provides direct support and funding to 61 designated communities across Canada and to organizations that address homelessness and its related issues. The majority of the designated communities are high population urban centres.
- Rural and Remote Non-designated HPS
The Rural and Remote Non-designated HPS is a funding stream for communities who have not been designated. Any smaller population community can apply for funding from their community or Provincial Community Entity.
- Aboriginal Homelessness
The Aboriginal funding stream has been designed to provide for the specific needs of Aboriginal people who are living off-reserve and who are living in cities and rural communities.
Who Can Apply?
Any organization can apply for funding in any one or all of the funding streams. The Provincial Métis Housing Corporation however, provides for only the Aboriginal component of the HPS program.
In terms of Aboriginal funding the organizations that apply will need to address Aboriginal homelessness and its related issues. There is no requirement for matching contributions but partnerships that provide for housing and support services are encouraged.
We encourage applicants to review the Government of Canada website on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy Program to determine eligible and in-eligible activities prior to making an application.