Home Depot Canada pledges $10 million for homeless youth
Supplementing a $10 million three-year commitment aimed at helping homeless youth in Canada, Home Depot Canada has released a whitepaper on breaking the cycle of youth homelessness.
The funds will go toward renovation and repair projects, life skill development programs and research initiatives aimed at addressing the needs of the tens of thousands of Canadian youth who are affected by homelessness each year.
Additionally, the company will collaborate with stakeholders to help create access to safe housing for homeless youth, establish a thought leadership advisory council, support new research and create a youth advisory council based on parameters that are defined by homeless youth.
"Research shows that reaching homeless youth early with housing and life skills support solutions will decrease the likelihood they will become chronically homeless adults," said Peg Hunter, chair of the board with The Home Depot Canada Foundation. "By focusing our efforts on youth and housing, we can maximize our resources, help youth realize their potential and build brighter futures."
Home Depot Canada has been tackling the issue of affordable housing since the inception of the Home Depot Canada Foundation in 2009.
Construction in Southwest metro regions up 11.3%
The BidClerk Construction Index (BCI) registered an 11.3% year-over-year increase in construction activity for major-metro regions in the Southwest U.S.
There was a vast disparity in the rate of progress depending on the type of construction, however; the uptick rides entirely on the shoulders of the public sector. Private construction was down 6.3%, while public construction increased 23.9%.
There is also great geographic disparity within the region itself. Combined public and private projects that were actively bidding in Phoenix were down 6.2%, while those in Las Vegas increased 22.6% and those in Albuquerque were up by as much as 50%.
The metros in question include Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Prescott, Tucson, Yuma, Las Vegas-Paradise, Reno-Sparks, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
The total value of all projects in the region (of those bidding in the third quarter of 2013) was $1.6 billion, down from Q2’s $2 billion total contract value. According to the organization, this reflects seasonal trends.
Consumer confidence reels in the aftermath of shutdown
Consumer confidence took a big hit in October.
At 71.2, the index was down 11.2% from September’s upwardly revised figure of 80.2, the Conference Board reports.
Confidence had declined slightly in September as well (from August’s 81.8), which suggests that the Congressional standoff wasn’t the only factor driving October’s figures down (though it was still one of the sharpest drops since last January, during the sequestration crisis).
“Consumer confidence deteriorated considerably as the federal government shutdown and debt-ceiling crisis took a particularly large toll on consumers’ expectations," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Similar declines in confidence were experienced during the payroll tax hike earlier this year, the fiscal cliff discussions in late 2012, and the government shutdown in 1995/1996. However, given the temporary nature of the current resolution, confidence is likely to remain volatile for the next several months."
The Present Situation Index was down to 70.7 from 73.5. Though fewer people assessed current business conditions as "good," the amount of respondents viewing them as "bad" also decreased. There was a 0.1% increase in those viewing jobs as "plentiful," but at the same time, more people said that jobs are "hard to get."
Meanwhile, the Expectations Index fell to 71.5 from 84.7. This was consistent with a drop in those expecting business conditions to improve, as well as an increase in those expecting them to worsen.
October’s reading is the lowest since April 2013, though it still comes in behind the year-ago index of 73.1.