New efforts to reduce homelessness are pouring in for Ontario’s municipalities as they are set to receive more than half a billion dollars from the provincial government.
A funding of $587m for the next two years has been announced by the government to provide emergency shelters, financial assistance to prevent eviction, and transitional housing. Food banks are also in the pipeline, CTVNews reported.
Over one-third of the amount will be given to Toronto as it is the most populous city in Ontario. The provincial government also noted that the city has “a large and diverse number of families and individuals at risk of homelessness.”
"When are we going to achieve the goal of ending homelessness? We don't know the answer to that," Deb Matthews, the minister responsible for the poverty reduction strategy, told CTVNews. "I'll be honest with you, I don't want to put out a date when we don't know the scope of the problem yet, but we're working on it."
However, she added that municipalities now have more flexibility to use these funds. The funding is a continuation of the Liberal government’s 2014 project in hopes of ending homelessness.
Meanwhile, NDP party leader Andrea Horwath said “since the municipalities get the same amount of money as in the previous years, with inflation factored in it is actually a funding cut.”
"All they did was announce that they're holding the line on funding for homelessness programs," she said. "It doesn't seem to me that that's any kind of announcement whatsoever."

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