Hamilton investing additional $950K annually towards gender-focused homeless shelters

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Published March 12, 2021 at 3:15 pm

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The City of Hamilton announced Friday (Mar. 12) it’s looking to invest an additional $950,000 in annual funding towards a new shelter focused on addressing the unique needs of women, Indigenous women, trans-feminine, trans-masculine, and non-binary people experiencing homelessness.

The investment, if approved by City Council as part of the City of Hamilton 2021 Budget deliberations, is expected to help meet the demands for beds and supports in the women’s homelessness system.

“Ensuring we have inclusive and responsive services that meet the needs of the community is a critical factor in the City’s social and economic future,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “This investment speaks to the City’s ongoing commitment to providing good quality and stable housing through annual and ongoing financial contributions to housing and homelessness.”

The City says it wants to ensure services in Hamilton are responsive to “a person’s individualized experience of homelessness impacted by intersecting aspects of their identities related to race, gender, and sexual orientation.”

Read More: City of Hamilton opens 2nd homeless isolation shelter to address outbreaks, capacity issues

The new shelter will exceed and replace the beds lost through the closure of Mountainview Shelter.

“Recognizing that emergency shelters are a temporary solution to a larger systemic issue, the City remains focused on balancing response to emergency shelter needs in the community, while also advancing long-term permanent solutions to housing pressures and getting and sustaining people housed with supports,” said an official City spokesperson.

“Safe, affordable housing is a critical determinant of the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities which is why addressing homelessness and affordable housing remains a top priority for the City of Hamilton, and for this term of Council.”

This investment builds on the City’s strategic goals to address housing and homelessness challenges throughout the city in alignment with Hamilton’s 10-year Housing & Homelessness Action Plan.

Council will formally approve the City of Hamilton’s 2021 Budget on Mar. 31.

Read More: ‘Disconnect’ leads to lack of space in Hamilton shelters and dehumanizing treatment of homeless

Hamilton’s housing system administration is funded by all levels of government and allocates and invests approximately $120-million annually into the housing and homelessness system including a $64-million municipal contribution in 2021.

“In alignment with the Housing & Homelessness Action Plan, the City’s Housing Services Division coordinates strategies, aligns community assets, social supports, policies and programs and administers on average $120-million annually in projects and services with a goal that everyone in Hamilton has a home,” according to a City media release.

This year and next, at least 400 new affordable housing units in Hamilton will break ground or be completed.

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