Halifax to help fund program that assists homeless

Councillors agreed to contribute $135K over 3 years to the Navigator Program.

Councillors agree to contribute $135K over 3 years to Navigator Program

The Navigator Program helps people who are experiencing homelessness or who have precarious housing. (David Donnelly/CBC)

Halifax regional council has agreed to give a program that helps street people $135,000 over the next three years.

The Downtown Halifax Business Commission and Spring Garden Area Business Association operate the Navigator Program.

The program, which assists people who are experiencing homelessness and those with precarious housing situations, made contact with 222 people between June 2016 and April 2017. The outreach included everything from buying a pair of workboots to finding housing.  

Some councillors have concerns about funding the program.

"It's an admirable program," said Coun. David Hendsbee, "but we're blurring the line and stepping into a provincial responsibility."

The Mayor disagreed.

"I don't think who's responsible should be the No. 1 issue," said Mike Savage. "I think it should be need."

Regional council also asked for a report on expanding the program, which could mean hiring another social worker and providing the service in other areas.

"It could mean that many more people could be helped," said Coun. Lindell Smith.

The report will look into other financial resources to support the program.