Compass Press Release:
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA SUPPORTS INNOVATIVE SOLUTION FOR VULNERABLE CANADIANS
Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear that access to affordable housing and supports is key to Canada’s recovery.
When a community member needs social supports like income assistance or food subsidies, it often involves a complicated process involving numerous agencies with different requirements and procedures,, creating confusion for Canadians at a time when they are most in need of help. Fragmented social services make it difficult to receive support, leaving people feeling “lost in the system”. Up to $190 billion is wasted each year due to inefficiencies and redundancies in the social services support sector, and without sufficient data about how these social supports interact, service providers and policy makers cannot address the gaps.
To increase the speed, fairness and efficiency of social service options, the Digital Supercluster is proud to announce its investment in the Compass project, a platform that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a social services safety net that aligns the needs of individuals, service providers and policymakers across the social services sector to streamline and improve wayfinding for Canadians and their families.
Led by HelpSeeker Technologies in collaboration with Corsac Technologies, and the University of Toronto Centre for Social Services Engineering, Compass will deliver a humanized experience for those in need of social services, while providing transparency and efficacy for service providers and policymakers.
The platform will integrate the interactions of three target audiences: those looking for social support, service providers and decision makers. In doing so, users will be able to navigate social services, optimize service delivery, improve decision making, and maximize fair social outcomes and community impact.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion announced that the Government of Canada invested $3 million in this first-of-its-kind platform, contributing $2.5 million in 2020 towards the expansion of HelpSeeker across the country and the mapping of Canada’s social safety net, plus an additional $500,000 specifically for this Compass project. The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry also announced that the Government of Canada is investing an additional $1.5 million through the Digital Technology Supercluster, for this project.
The Compass platform is co-developed, implemented and validated through community partnerships with the City of Lethbridge, Medicine Hat Community Housing Society and Homeward Trust in Edmonton, as well as the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
The project has a total investment of $4.9 million, with $2.9 million invested by industry and $2 million co-invested by the Government of Canada. More information on the Compass project can be found here.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Through our government’s National Housing Strategy, we are investing in approaches to address gaps in access to affordable housing. We are proud to support startups like HelpSeeker, who provide innovative solutions as we work to provide safe and affordable housing for all Canadians.” –The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
“Compass exemplifies Canada’s commitment to advancing social innovation through transformational digital technologies. Supporting the needs of our most vulnerable populations is critical to improving the health, wellbeing and safety of all Canadians.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Unleashing our social responses to meet current and future challenges requires technology innovation to allow us to address the root causes of societal challenges. Compass is the project to build this technology foundation that will underpin effective solutions to the world’s complex social challenges” – Dr. Alina Turner, Co-Founder, HelpSeeker Technologies
“We are exceptionally proud of the ambition and focus in the Compass project as it shows how digital innovation can transform any and demonstrates how technology can serve the greater social good. Canadian-made technologies like this show the world that Canada is poised to own the podium in digital innovation.” – Sue Paish, CEO Digital Technology Supercluster
As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. For more information, please visit cmhc.ca or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
Ahead of the curve starts here. The Digital Technology Supercluster is building a better Canada by growing Canadian businesses, creating a digitally skilled workforce and positively impacting lives across our Country. We accelerate the development and adoption of digital technologies that keep Canadians healthy, address climate change and drive economic productivity. Through a powerful combination of co-investment, cross-sector collaboration, IP creation and digital talent development, we unlock the potential of Canadians to lead and succeed in the digital world. For more information, visit: https://www.digitalsupercluster.ca/