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Homeless funding saved for another year

By: Darren MacDonald - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Dec 09, 2013 - 5:08 PM |
Provincial cuts to funding for homeless programs prompted this sit in November 2012 at MPP Rick Bartolucci's office in Sudbury. The city is extending the program for 2014, but warns transitional funding will run out in 2015. File photo.

Provincial cuts to funding for homeless programs prompted this sit in November 2012 at MPP Rick Bartolucci's office in Sudbury. The city is extending the program for 2014, but warns transitional funding will run out in 2015. File photo.

Cuts to homeless programs that led to protests in Greater Sudbury have been put off for at least another year.

City staff told members of the finance committee Dec. 3 that there is enough transitional funding – $1.3 million – to keep current programs in place for 2014. But Catherine Matheson, the city's general manager of citizen services, said council will have to decide whether to fund the program when those funds run out next year.

It's the second year in a row that expected cuts to a program that helps low-income Sudburians avoid homelessness have been put off. Known as the Community Maintenance and Startup Fund, it gives $1,500 every two years to families facing eviction and those in danger of having their utilities cut off or fleeing domestic violence, among other uses.

Last-minute funds from the province saved the program in the 2013 budget. The province announced in 2012 that it was combining homeless programs and putting the money into a single fund, prompting protests by members of the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty.

They occupied the office of Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci, prompting several arrests. Trespassing charges were later dismissed in court, although the province is appealing the decision.

As they have whenever homeless funding is being discussed, several members of SCAP were in Tom Davies Square on Dec. 3 to hear the program was safe for another year.
Darren MacDonald

Darren MacDonald

Staff Writer

@Darrenmacd

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