The McGuinty government is investing $29.2 million for community support and supportive housing services to help keep Ontarians in the community for as long as possible instead of admitting them to hospitals or institutions.
These funds are part of the McGuinty government's $417 million investment in community support and supportive housing services for 2004-05.
"Community support services and supportive housing services help the frail elderly and people with physical disabilities live in their communities with a higher degree of independence than if they were institutionalized," Smitherman said. "While our plan is a compassionate one that improves the quality of life for Ontarians in their homes and communities, it's also a practical approach that will reduce the stress on our hospitals and allow them to focus on the acute services they provide so well."
Today's announcement means hundreds of agencies that provide community support and supportive housing services in Ontario will receive the funds they need to assist up to 8,000 more Ontarians to live in their communities this year.
This investment will improve access to community support services like adult day programs, meal programs and community transportation for those who need them. It also means that our frail elderly and people with physical disabilities, an acquired brain injury, or HIV/AIDS will benefit from strengthened supportive housing services like 24-hour access to personal care and essential homemaking.
"We congratulate the government for recognizing that community support and supportive housing services are critical components of our health system," said Ontario Community Services Association President, Valerie Bishop de Young.
The steps taken today are part of the government's plan to transform Ontario's health system and allow Ontarians to get the care they need in the most appropriate setting.
The minister announced yesterday that the government is investing a record $1.3 billion in Ontario's Community Care Access Centres (CCAC). This includes new funding targeted towards acute home care, end-of-life care, and chronic home care that will benefit 21,000 more Ontarians this year.
"Community care is a critical part of our health system that has been underdeveloped for too long," Smitherman said. "The actions we are taking represent major steps forward in transforming our health care system and expanding the capacity for care in our communities."