The federal government has announced financial support for a company that works to improve access to affordable housing
By Caitlin Finlay
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced February 12 that it will be providing $2.5 million to support HelpSeeker, a social enterprise that aims to fill critical needs within society that aren’t currently being met. The funding will be provided over three years to increase resources provided by HelpSeeker to Canadians.
A press release linked the funding effort to the difficulties Canadians are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, stating, “The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that access to affordable housing and supports is key to Canada’s recovery.”
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development and the minister responsible for the CMHC, said in a statement. “Through our government’s National Housing Strategy, we are investing in innovative approaches to housing that will help Canadians get the support they need. We are proud to support startups like HelpSeeker, who provide innovative solutions as we work to provide safe and affordable housing for all Canadians.”
HelpSeeker provides a free website and app to help Canadians find resources within their communities, provinces, and across Canada. Resources include social, health, and community services, programs, and hotlines for addiction, homelessness, refugees, domestic violence, shelters, food support services, mental health, disabilities, and many more. Searches can be filtered by service type, as well as by cost so that users can find free services should they be unable to afford paid services.
The HelpSeeker website currently advertises offering resources to communities within British Colombia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, but the search tool includes resources for all Canadian cities. With the funding from the CMHC, HelpSeeker hopes to expand its reach from 200 to 5,000 municipalities across Canada.