B.C. government says transition of youth from care among roots of homelessness

B.C. government says transition of youth from care among roots of homelessness

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government is expanding supports for former youth in care as part of a cross-government approach to target the root causes of homelessness.

Several cabinet ministers gathered for a news conference to share details of $633 million first announced in Budget 2022 for supports over three years for people experiencing homelessness.

Mitzi Dean, minister of children and family development, says $35 million over three years will help former youth in care, almost half of whom experience homelessness at some point in their lives.

It will help cover an unconditional one-year income supplement of $1,250 per month that Dean says will not be limited by earnings, so youth have an incentive to work and build independence.

The young adults will also be eligible for a $600-a-month rental supplement and increased access to counselling, medical benefits and life-skills programming.

Other funds to help the homeless outlined by the ministers include $164 million to expand the government’s complex-care housing program and $264 million for a permanent housing plan to support about 3,000 people who were temporarily housed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the first time the province has created a comprehensive cross-government approach to supporting youth in and from care,” Dean says.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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