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September 12, 2013 at 16:42 PM EDT
2 New Communities Join National Program to End Youth Homelessness

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 09/12/13 -- Communities across Canada are joining a major national effort to significantly change the course of youth homelessness across Canada. Saint John, New Brunswick and Wellington County, Ontario are the latest communities to join the Mobilizing Local Capacity to End Youth Homelessness Program (MLC). The MLC program is an innovative approach to ending youth homelessness because it builds on local community strengths and connects them to national and international change makers to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness.

The MLC program is the result of an exciting partnership between The National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness (LC), Eva's Initiatives and the Canadian Housing Renewal Association (CHRA), with generous funding from the Catherine Donnelly Foundation. MLC communities plan, implement and evaluate community-wide strategies designed to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness. Over the next year, Saint John and Wellington County will be working with the Mobilizing Local Communities Program partners to assess the communities' needs and plan and implement core strategies. The results will be shared with communities across the country.

Randy Hatfield, Executive Director of the Saint John Human Development Council is eager for his community to begin working on the program, "Saint John needs a coordinated community-wide response to youth homelessness. The knowledge and experience of the national partners and participating communities will help us develop a current, informed and relevant plan to end youth homelessness in our region."

"We are pleased to be selected to be a part of this important initiative," said Ron McKinnon, Executive Director of Community Resource Centre of North and Centre Wellington. "Youth Homelessness is a very complex problem that will require a solution capable of meeting a variety of needs. Having the opportunity to work with other communities across Canada is providing the variety of perspectives that will be needed to develop a plan to assist youth in our communities."

Mike Flynn, Chair of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation stated "The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is excited to be part of this important project that we hope will allow service providers in Wellington and Saint John to tackle the roots of the problem of youth homelessness in their communities. The Foundation sees this as an important step in mobilizing public opinion and community resources to combat youth homelessness across the country."

For more information about the MLC Program visit The Backgrounder (http://evasinitiatives.com/2012/11/19/mobilizing-local-capacity-to-end-youth-homelessness-in-canada/) OR to inquire about interviews, please see the contact information below.

Contacts:
Melanie Redman, MLC Co-Chair/Director
National Initiatives Program - Eva's Initiatives
Toronto, Ontario
(647) 502-4114
mredman@evas.ca

Sheldon Pollett, MLC Co-chair/Executive Director
Choices for Youth
St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador
(709) 754-0446
spollett@choicesforyouth.ca

Steve Gaetz, Director Canadian Homelessness Research Network
York University
Toronto, Ontario
(416) 668-7321
sgaetz@edu.yorku.ca

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