Assessing progress on St. John’s Plan to End Homelessness
I’ve written an assessment of the 2014-2019 St. John’s Community Plan to End Homelessness. The full assessment can be found here.
Points raised in the assessment include the following:
-Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest unemployment rate of any Canadian province. This pulls people into homelessness, while also making it more challenging for the provincial government to finance policy asks (such as subsidized housing with social work support).
-People interviewed as part of the assessment process expressed concern over the fact that nearly 40% of emergency shelter beds in St. John’s are run by for-profit providers (but paid for by the provincial government).
-The Trudeau government increased annual federal funding for homelessness (beginning with the 2016 federal budget) and this has been helpful at the local level in St. John’s (just as these increased federal funding levels helped other communities across Canada address homelessness).
-One promising development in Newfoundland and Labrador has been new child welfare legislation allowing youth to continue receiving care until the age of 21 (it used to be 18).