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IN THE NEWS: Phoenix receives $66K in federal funding for Abbotsford Housing Navigation Program

Vikki Hopes, Abbotsford News – The City of Abbotsford has allocated more than $1.3 million in federal funding to 12 projects focused on preventing and reducing homelessness in Abbotsford in 2021-22.

The money is coming from the Reaching Home program, which provides direct support and funding to designated communities, Indigenous communities, territorial communities, and rural and remote communities across Canada.

The 12 local capital and service-related projects were selected by Abbotsford’s Reaching Home community advisory board, made up of stakeholders representing a wide array of populations and interests.

The projects were selected for their focus on reducing homelessness overall, including decreasing the number of newly homeless people, those who are becoming homeless again and those who are chronically homeless.

“I’m pleased to see this money flow into our community to provide much-needed support to vulnerable people by addressing challenges with homelessness,” said Mayor Henry Braun.

“Thanks to support from the Government of Canada, the City of Abbotsford is able to provide funding for 12 new projects that we hope will make a true difference in preventing and reducing homelessness in Abbotsford.”

Thetãx Chris Silver, a councillor with Sumas First Nation, said the funding will have a positive impact.

“These initiatives will allow us to have something in our own nation to help stand our people up giving them a home, shelter and guidance within Semá:th,” Silver said.

The City of Abbotsford became a designated community under the Reaching Home program in June 2020. Vancity Community Foundation was contracted by the City of Abbotsford to support the organization and management of the allocated funding.

The 12 projects funded in Abbotsford are:

• Sumas First Nation’s Homeless Strategic Plan – $200,000

• Sumas First Nation’s transitional modular homes – $193,955

• Raven’s Moon Resource Society’s support housing for Indigenous men and women – $142,101

• John Howard Society’s Community Collaboration – Ending Homelessness – $126,469

• Archway Community Services’ peer-led response to reducing homelessness – $119,301

• Matsqui-Abbotsford Impact Society’s Business Engagement Ambassador Project – $100,000

• Mennonite Central Committee’s Fraser Valley Rent Bank – $80,411

• Elizabeth Fry Society’s renovation project – $47,506

• Phoenix Society’s Housing Navigation Program – $66,032

• Mennonite Central Committee’s Circle of Friends pilot project – $44,952

• CEDAR Outreach Society’s ID Bank – $27,600

• CEDAR Outreach Society’s peer support worker – $19,000

Another $30,000 has been designated for the 2021/22 point-in-time homeless count, while $105, 317 will be allocated later following a re-assessment of the approved projects based on monthyly reporting.