Canada-Quebec Agreement regarding Reaching Home 2019–2024

Information for reference

The signed French version of this Agreement is the official version.

On this page

Between

The Government of Canada (hereafter “Canada”), represented by the Minister of Employment and Social Development, styled as the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development,

And

The Gouvernement du Québec (hereafter “Quebec”), represented by the Minister of Health and Social Services and Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie,

Hereafter referred to as “the Parties”.

Whereas homelessness is a major societal issue and there is a need to support affected individuals and communities in the search for and implementation of lasting solutions;

Whereas since 2001, the Parties have reached successive agreements for joint implementation, in Quebec, of Canada’s programs designed to support projects that contribute to preventing and reducing homelessness at the community-level, the most recent relating to the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) for the period from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2019 (hereafter “the 2014–19 Agreement”);

Whereas Canada has launched Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy (RH) to replace the HPS, for the period from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2024, drawing on the findings of research and efficient ways of preventing and reducing homelessness;

Whereas Quebec has adopted a comprehensive strategy to prevent and reduce homelessness in accordance with the directions set out in its Politique nationale de lutte à l’itinérance “Ensemble, pour éviter la rue et en sortir”, and through concrete actions set out in Plan d’action interministériel en itinérance 2015-2020 “Mobilisés et engagés pour prévenir et réduire l’itinérance”;

Whereas the Parties wish to enter into an agreement regarding RH founded on the terms and principles of cooperation established in their previous agreements on homelessness while at the same time strengthening the community-based approach;

Whereas the Parties have agreed on transitional measures for the fiscal years 2019–20 and 2020–21 based on the directions in the 2014–19 Agreement, while negotiating an agreement regarding RH;

Whereas the Parties share, in particular, the priority of increasing knowledge to guide and support efforts to prevent and reduce homelessness, and intend to continue to work together to consider opportunities in keeping with their respective needs and means in this regard;

Whereas, in order to ensure coherent and effective action, and to avoid duplication, on the one hand, Canada acknowledges that RH implementation must be consistent with Quebec’s areas of jurisdiction in health and social services, directions, priorities and the structure for the organization of services and, on the other hand, Quebec acknowledges that RH implementation must be consistent with Canada’s directions and priorities for RH;

Whereas, in Quebec, the community sector takes part in developing Quebec-wide, regional and local priorities on homelessness, and Quebec wishes to see this approach promoted in implementing RH;

Whereas, with regard to service delivery, Quebec has a network of “Centres intégrés (universitaires) de santé et de services sociaux” (CISSS/CIUSSS) responsible for ensuring the accessibility, continuity and quality of services, particularly services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness within their territory, including members of the English-speaking community;

Whereas the CISSS/CIUSSS have been tasked with coordinating, consulting with and mobilizing intersectoral stakeholders on homelessness within their territories, in a manner consistent with the roles and responsibilities of each of the Quebec stakeholders concerned;

Whereas this is an agreement that the Minister herein representing Canada may enter into with a province pursuant to section 10 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act, (S.C. 2005, c. 34), and Canada’s contribution under this agreement shall be governed by the Financial Administration Act, (R.S.C. 1985, c. F-11);

Now therefore, the Parties agree as follows.

1. Definitions

For the purposes of this Canada-Quebec Agreement regarding RH 2019–2024 (hereafter “the Agreement”), the following definitions apply.

1.1 “Coordinated Access” means a coordinated and transparent systematic process which aims to meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness in an equitable manner, by guiding them toward support services and measures offered by the community. Access to support services and measures aims to better support the people served and to help them avoid or exit homelessness.

1.2 “Centres intégrés (universitaires) de santé et de services sociaux ” (CISSS/CIUSSS) means an institution so designated and constituted through the amalgamation of the public institutions and health and social services agency for each of Quebec’s health regions, in accordance with section 4 of the Act to modify the organization and governance of the health and social services network, in particular by abolishing the regional agencies, c. O-7.2.

1.3 “Joint Management Committee” (JMC) means a committee made up of an equal number of representatives of Canada and representatives of Quebec, and responsible for implementing and monitoring the Agreement. The mandate and membership of the JMC are specified in Appendix C.

1.4 “Advisory Committee” means a committee reporting to the JMC and aimed at providing, at the JMC’s call, a forum for exchange in regard to any subject related to the JMC’s mandate which the JMC deems appropriate to address. Its operating procedures are set out in Appendix C.

1.5 “Community” means, within a given geographical area, the individuals and organizations that share similar interests and needs associated with homelessness issues.

1.6 “Designated Community” means a community described in article 5.2.1.

1.7 “Fiscal Year” means a fiscal year starting on April 1 of a given calendar year and ending on March 31 of the following calendar year.

1.8 “Eligible Organization” means a recipient that may receive a financial contribution from RH, which may include not-for-profit organizations (according to federal or provincial legislation governing the incorporation of organizations), municipal governments, research organizations and institutes, and public health and educational institutions, in accordance with the streams governed by this Agreement.

The term may also mean a for-profit enterprise, provided that the nature and intent of the Project are not commercial, and that they are otherwise consistent with the eligible activities described in Appendix E.

1.9 “Canada’s guidelines and priorities” means the guidelines and priorities of Canada as part of RH set out in Appendix A.

1.10 “Quebec’s directions and priorities” means the directions and priorities of Quebec related to the fight against homelessness set out in Appendix B.

1.11 “Community Plan” means an action plan to prevent and reduce homelessness developed and implemented by a CISSS/CIUSSS for a Designated Community, in accordance with Appendix D, and in which the community sector is involved.

1.12 “Project” refers to an eligible activity or a set of eligible activities that is implemented through the following:

1.12.1 For the 2019–20 and 2020–21 fiscal years, a contribution agreement between Canada and an eligible organization concluded in accordance with the transitional measures described in article 4.1; and

1.12.2 For the 2021–22, 2022–23 and 2023–24 fiscal years, an agreement between a CISSS/CIUSSS and an eligible organization setting out the terms of the project in accordance with the measures established in article 4.2.

1.13 “Consultation table” means a group of local homelessness caseworkers representative of the community that participates in establishing a community’s priorities and supports the CISSS/CIUSSS in the project selection process in a given community.

1.14 “Territory” means a geographical unit corresponding to an administrative division. For the purposes of the Agreement, the divisions used are those of the Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) and of municipalities listed in article 5.2.1 or of heath regions listed in Appendix B.

1.15 “RH” means the federal program Reaching Home, through which Canada wishes, based on the procedures provided, to fund projects or other activities aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness. The RH funding streams covered by the Agreement are defined below:

1.15.1 “CCI” means the Community Capacity and Innovation stream, which funds the implementation of a Coordinated Access system and the strengthening of community capacities and of activities for increasing knowledge about homelessness in the Designated Communities;

1.15.2 “DC” means the Designated Communities stream, which, in accordance with the Community Plan and subject to a requirement for matching funds from other sources, funds projects in Designated Communities, where there is a higher concentration of people experiencing homelessness;

1.15.3 “RRH” means the Rural and Remote Homelessness stream, which, on the basis of demonstrated need and community support, funds projects aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness in smaller communities, in rural or remote areas, including the North.

2. Purpose and scope of the Agreement

2.1 The Agreement aims to establish procedures under which Canada will make a financial contribution to Quebec to ensure the implementation of the DC, RRH and CCI streams based on the parameters set out in articles 4 and 5 and in accordance with the eligible activities set out in Appendix E.

2.2 Under this Agreement, the Parties also aim to establish the collaboration parameters for a joint implementation of RH consistently with the directions of Quebec and Canada.

3. Duration of the Agreement

The Agreement will come into effect on April 1, 2019, notwithstanding the date when it is signed, and end on March 31, 2024.

4. Implementation of RH

Quebec commits to obtain the cooperation of the CISSS/CIUSSS for the implementation of this Agreement.

4.1 Management and coordination for 2019–20 and 2020–21

4.1.1 The amount available is allocated according to the procedures of collaboration for project selection set out in the 2014–19 Agreement, in accordance with the transitional measures agreed to between the two governments, which provide for the following procedures:

  1. the service activities in progress on March 31, 2019, will be renewed for a two-year period ending March 31, 2021. These projects will be managed in accordance with the 2014–19 Agreement;
  2. the remaining amounts to be invested due to the increase in funding available for 2019–20 and 2020–21, following the renewal of projects in accordance with article 4.1.1(a), may be used to fund new projects. The selection and management of these projects will follow the recommendation and approval process set out in the 2014–19 Agreement;

4.1.2 Canada will make available to Quebec an annual lump sum of $443,333 drawn from the amounts reserved for the DC component, to support the implementation and monitoring of the transitional measures set out in Schedule F.

4.2 Management and coordination for 2021–22, 2022–23 and 2023–24

4.2.1 The JMC agrees with the parameters for implementation and is monitoring the Agreement in accordance with Appendix C.

4.2.2 Quebec shall provide the CISSS/CIUSSSs (listed in Appendix B) with information about the parameters for community planning and shall provide guidance and support to the CISSS/CIUSSSs in the administration of the funding made available by Canada, as described in article 5.1, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Agreement. Within the parameters the JMC agreed on, the CISSS/CIUSSSs may be granted flexibility to respond to local priorities for preventing and reducing homelessness in their territory, as defined by the community.

4.2.3 Quebec shall ensure that:

  1. the CISSS/CIUSSSs administer the funding available in the targeted communities according to the terms and conditions of the Agreement;
  2. the CISSS/CIUSSSs are responsible for establishing open and impartial project selection processes within the parameters established in this Agreement and based on the priorities identified through community planning;
  3. the CISSS/CIUSSSs are also responsible for monitoring the selected projects and reporting on them to Quebec;

5. Canada’s contribution

5.1 Overall amount: DC, RRH and CCI components

Subject to the appropriations authorized by Parliament and the terms and conditions of the Agreement, Canada shall make available a maximum of $172,062,873 over five (5) years beginning April 1, 2019. The annual amount payable by Canada for each fiscal year shall not exceed the total amount per fiscal year set out in the following table, unless otherwise authorized in writing by Canada.

Component 2019–20** 2020–21** 2021–22 2022–23 2023–24 Total
DC $28,841,254 $29,179,265 $32,842,318 $32,842,318 $32,842,318 $156,547,473
RRH $2,338,316 $2,338,316 $2,338,316 $2,338,316 $2,338,316 $11,691,580
CCI* n/a n/a $1,327,580 $1,248,120 $1,248,120 $3,823,820
Total $31,179,570 $31,517,581  $36,508,214  $36,428,754 $36,428,754 $172,062,873

* The CCI funding available between April 1, 2019, and December 31, 2021, is administered under the Agreement to Implement the Community Capacity and Innovation Stream of the Reaching Home Program in Quebec.

** Funding for the 2019–20 and 2020–21 fiscal years is administered in accordance with the transitional measures set out in article 4.1.

5.1.1 Allocation of funds: The allocation of available funding by target territory per fiscal year and per component specified in article 5.1 is based on factors agreed to by the JMC.

5.2 DC funding component

5.2.1 Designated Communities: Montréal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), Québec CMA, Drummondville, Gatineau, Saguenay/Lac Saint-Jean, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières.

5.2.2 Allocation of funds: The distribution by Designated Community of available funding per fiscal year is defined by the JMC, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Agreement. For each fiscal year, the funding available per Designated Community shall be maintained at the amounts available for the 2018–19 fiscal year, at least (see table below).

The allocation factors for the additional funding available per Designated Community in the DC stream will be agreed upon by the JMC.

Funding available under the DC stream for 2018–19
Communities 2018–19 Budget
Montréal CMA $16,617,992
Québec CMA $3,735,966
Drummondville $576,476
Trois-Rivières $968,777
Saguenay/Lac Saint-Jean $951,893
Sherbrooke $1,216,532
Gatineau $1,273,134
Total $25,340,770

5.2.3 Quebec shall ensure that the project selection process for 2021–22, 2022–23 and 2023–24 is carried out as follows:

  1. the CISSS/CIUSSSs coordinate the development, implementation and monitoring of the community plan within the parameters defined in Appendix D;
  2. the CISSS/CIUSSSs determine the directions on their territory, in collaboration with the consultation table, and establish the terms and conditions of the calls for proposals, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Agreement. They select projects through open and impartial processes. In each Designated Community, the projects selected must respond to the priorities defined during the community planning exercise and they must have the support of the consultation table;
  3. the CISSS/CIUSSSs fund the selected projects and agree on the terms and conditions under which funding is provided to the eligible organization and monitor projects throughout their life cycle.

5.2.4 Contributions from other sources

  1. For the purposes of the DC stream, Canada's contribution may constitute up to 50% of the funding available in a Designated Community;
  2. contributions from other sources may consist of cash or in-kind contributions from a partner or partners in the public, not-for-profit or private sectors.

5.3 RRH funding stream

5.3.1 Territories covered: All regions or cities excluding Designated Communities covered by the DC stream (article 5.2.1).

5.3.2 Allocation of funds: The distribution of available funding by target territory per fiscal year is defined by the JMC, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Agreement.

5.3.3 Quebec shall ensure that the project selection process for 2021–22, 2022–23 and 2023–24 is carried out as follows:

  1. the CISSS/CIUSSSs determine the directions, in collaboration with community stakeholders, and establish the terms and conditions of the calls for proposals, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Agreement. They select projects through open and impartial processes for all targeted communities;
  2. the CISSS/CIUSSSs fund selected projects and agree on the terms and conditions under which funding is provided to the eligible organization, and monitor projects throughout their life cycle.

5.4 CCI funding stream

5.4.1 Target communities: Montréal CMA, Québec CMA, Drummondville, Gatineau, Saguenay/Lac Saint-Jean, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières.

5.4.2 Allocation of funds

  1. Funding for this component between April 1, 2019, and December 31, 2021, totalling $2,821,660, is available as part of the Agreement to Implement the Community Capacity and Innovation Stream of the Reaching Home Program in Quebec. Its objective is to make it possible to carry out, in particular:
    • analysis and consultation activities that could lead to the design of a Coordinated Access system model consistent with Quebec's priorities and directions;
    • Point-in-Time counts of individuals experiencing homelessness in the Designated Communities of Quebec between March and April 2021.
  2. For 2021–22, 2022–23 and 2023–24, funding will be provided to Quebec to support the implementation of coordinated access, in accordance with the eligible activities (Appendix E, Sector E) and taking into account the work done under the Agreement to Implement the Community Capacity and Innovation Stream of the Reaching Home Program in Quebec.

5.5 Eligible costs

5.5.1 Canada's contribution is allocated to eligible and reasonable costs directly related to the eligible activities of a project in accordance with Appendix E.

5.5.2 In support of their mandate to coordinate and administer DC funding, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (hereafter, the MSSS) and the CISSS/CIUSSSs may reserve a reasonable portion of the available funding agreed on by the JMC, to a maximum of 15% of the funding available in each Designated Community for 2021–22, 2022–23 and 2023–24.

5.5.3 In support of their mandate to coordinate and administer RRH funding, the MSSS and the CISSS/CIUSSSs may reserve a reasonable portion of the available funding agreed on by the JMC, to a maximum of 15% of the funding available under the RRH component for 2021–22, 2022–23 and 2023–24.

6. Terms of payment

6.1 Canada will make its contribution by way of funding advances on a semi-annual basis. For each fiscal year covered, the payment periods are defined as follows: Term 1 covers the period from April 1 to September 30, and Term 2 covers the period from October 1 to March 31 of the following calendar year.

6.1.1 For the 2021–22 fiscal year:

  1. 75% of the contribution described in article 5.1 will be made within thirty (30) days following the start of the 2021–22 fiscal year;
  2. 25% of the contribution described in article 5.1 will be made within thirty (30) days following receipt of a report for Term 1 of the 2021–22 fiscal year, in accordance with article 7.1.

6.1.2 For the 2022–23 fiscal year:

  1. 75% of the contribution described in article 5.1 will be made within thirty (30) days following the start of the 2022–23 fiscal year;
  2. 25% of the contribution described in article 5.1 will be made within thirty (30) days following receipt of a report for Term 1 of the 2022–23 fiscal year, in accordance with article 7.1.

6.1.3 For the 2023–24 fiscal year:

  1. 85% of the contribution described in article 5.1 will be made within thirty (30) days following the start of the 2023–24 fiscal year;
  2. 15% of the contribution described in article 5.1 will be made within thirty (30) days following receipt of a report for Term 2 of the 2023–24 fiscal year, in accordance with article 7.1.

6.2 Canada will deduct any amount not spent at the end of each fiscal year from the amount for the following fiscal year. Unless otherwise agreed, Quebec shall reimburse Canada for any overpayments made under this Agreement within thirty (30) calendar days following written notice from Canada. The refund will be made by cheque payable to the Receiver General for Canada and sent to the representative of Canada.

7. Semi-annual report

7.1 Within sixty (60) days following the end of each payment period defined in article 6.1 of this Agreement, for fiscal years 2021–22, 2022–23 and 2023–24, Quebec shall provide Canada, in a mutually agreed-on form, with a semi-annual report including:

7.1.1 An attestation, by a senior financial officer of Quebec, confirming the amount spent on implementing projects within the context of this Agreement during the payment period in question, as well as the total spent for the fiscal year;

7.1.2 An attestation, by a senior financial officer of Quebec, that the planned activities have taken place and that costs in compliance with eligible expenditures were incurred during the fiscal year.

8. Project details and results reporting

Project details are basic information collected in the context of RH on funded projects. Results reporting is statistical information collected in the context of RH on the annual results of funded projects.

8.1 For fiscal years 2021–22, 2022–23 and 2023–24, Quebec shall ensure that the funding agreements entered into between CISSS/CIUSSS and organizations eligible for the implementation of projects under RH will include obligations to provide the following information, through a technological solution:

  1. within thirty (30) days of the start of a project, a statement of the details of the project in a standardized form and documented to the Parties’ satisfaction;
  2. within thirty (30) days of any change in project activities, funding or end date, a revised version of the statement referred to in article a);
  3. within forty-five (45) days of the end of a fiscal year, an “annual report on results” detailing the direct results achieved within the context of the project during the fiscal year in question, in a standardized form consistent with the one referred to in article a).

8.1.2 The technological solution used will allow CISSS/CIUSSS to access information for the purpose of reviewing information recorded and monitoring expected results under RH.

8.1.3 The technological solution chosen will allow Quebec and Canada to access project details and results reporting.

9. Public communications

The Parties agree to work together, subject to reasonable advance notice, on any communication activity concerning this Agreement, under terms and in a form satisfactory to both Parties.

10. Information sharing

The Parties recognize the importance of exchanges that can help identify and disseminate information and promising practices conducive to promoting progress in efforts to address homelessness. Such information sharing shall be carried out in compliance with legislation applicable to each Party, in particular privacy legislation.

11. Party representatives

The Parties entrust their respective principal representatives with responsibility for overseeing the application of the Agreement. These principal representatives are:

11.1 for Canada, in view of the RH management structure within Employment and Social Development, the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Income Security and Social Development Branch;

11.2 for Quebec, the Assistant Deputy Minister, Direction générale des programmes dédiés aux personnes, aux familles et aux communautés au sein du MSSS.

12. Amendment of the agreement

12.1 The Agreement may be amended by mutual consent of the Parties. Amendments are to be set out in writing, and come into force on the date agreed to by the Parties.

13. Reduction or termination of funding

13.1 Canada may, upon not less than twelve (12) months’ notice, reduce its funding under this Agreement or terminate the Agreement, if:

13.1.1 The RH program is cancelled or, for any fiscal year in which a payment is to be made under this Agreement, its level of funding is reduced further to a decision by Canada regarding costs, or

13.1.2 Parliament reduces the overall funding for Employment and Social Development Canada programs for any fiscal year in which a payment is to be made under this Agreement.

13.2 Where, pursuant to article 13.1, Canada gives notice of its intention to reduce its funding, and where, as a result of the reduction in funding, Quebec is of the opinion that it will be unable to complete the activities set out in the Agreement or will be unable to complete activities set out in the Agreement in the manner it desires, Quebec shall notify Canada as soon as possible after receiving notice from Canada of its intention to reduce the funding and may, upon not less than thirty (30) days written notice to Canada, terminate the Agreement.

14. Termination of the Agreement

Termination at the Parties’ discretion

14.1 Notwithstanding the Parties’ right to terminate the Agreement pursuant to articles 13.1 and 13.2 of this Agreement, either Party may terminate this Agreement at any time without cause upon at least twelve (12) months’ written notice of the intention to terminate.

14.2 As at the termination date of this Agreement under articles 13.1, 13.2 or 14.1, Canada shall no longer be obligated to make any further payments to Quebec with respect to eligible expenses incurred by Quebec after the effective date of termination.

15. Evaluation of RH

15.1 Canada shall evaluate RH, through which it contributes to addressing homelessness.

15.2 For the purposes of article 15.1, Quebec agrees to make available the required information. This information is determined by the JMC.

16. Applicable law

This agreement shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws in force in Quebec.

17. Redistribution of funds to projects

Project selection and financial management

17.1 For fiscal years 2021–22, 2022–23 and 2023–24, Quebec shall follow its own policies and procedures to ensure that project proposals are evaluated, selected and managed in a transparent, impartial and fair manner.

18. Other

18.1 Appendices A to F are an integral part of this Agreement.

18.2 The Parties agree to inform one another as early as possible of any changes in their respective statutes or policies that could have an impact on the Agreement.

In witness whereof the parties have signed this Agreement:

For the Government of Canada:

Original signed by the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

For the Gouvernement du Québec:

Original signed by the Honourable Danielle McCann, Minister of Health and Social Services, and the Honourable Sonia LeBel Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie.

Appendix A: Canada’s directions and priorities

Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy (hereafter “Reaching Home”) aims to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. It supports the goals of the National Housing StrategyFootnote 1, and specifically the goal to help the most vulnerable people maintaining safe, stable and affordable housing and to reduce chronic homelessness by 50% nationally by 2027–28.

Reaching Home is also aiming to strengthen community capacities and to encourage the implementation of sustainable solutions to homelessness, in particular through the establishment of partnerships, applied research and data collection.

As part of Reaching Home, communities will have the flexibility to administer their funding while they aim to achieve results locally in terms of preventing and reducing homelessness. This will help communities respond to local needs, in particular those of the most vulnerable populations, such as people experiencing chronic homelessness, youth, families, Indigenous people, the LGBTQ2 communities, women fleeing violence, veterans and people with disabilities.

Through this program, Canada intends to maintain and strengthen the community approach, while continuing to work in partnership with the provinces and territories, Indigenous organizations and other partners working on homelessness.

Definitions of homelessness

For information purposes, the Government of Canada defines homelessness and chronic homelessness as follows as part of Reaching Home.

HomelessnessFootnote 2 :

Homelessness is the situation of an individual or family who does not have a permanent address or residence; the living situation of an individual or family who does not have stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means and ability of acquiring it.

It is often the result of what are known as systemic or societal barriers, including a lack of affordable and appropriate housing, the individual/household’s financial, mental, cognitive, behavioural or physical challenges, and/or racism and discrimination.

Chronic homelessnessFootnote 3 :

Refers to individuals who are currently experiencing homelessness AND who meet at least 1 of the following criteria:

Chronic homelessness includes time spent in the following contexts:

  1. Staying in unsheltered locations, that is public or private spaces without consent or contract, or places not intended for permanent human habitation (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) Typology: 1.1 and 1.2).
  2. Staying in emergency shelters, including overnight shelters for people experiencing homelessness (including those for specific populations, such as youth, families, and newcomers), shelters for people impacted by family violence, and emergency shelters for people fleeing a natural disaster or destruction of accommodation (COH Typology: 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3).
  3. Staying temporarily with others without guarantee of continued residency or the immediate prospects for accessing permanent housing, or short-term rental accommodations (for example, motels) without security of tenure (COH typology: 3.2 and 3.3).

It does not include situations where individuals have access to secure, permanent housing, whether subsidized or not. The definition also does not include time spent in transitional housing or in public institutions (for example, health and corrections), although individuals who are discharged into homelessness from transitional housing or public institutions can be considered chronically homeless if they were experiencing chronic homelessness upon entry to transitional housing or the public institution.

Outcomes-based Community Approach

Reaching Home is based on a community approach according to which the Designated Communities themselves define their priorities through an inclusive and representative community planning process in order to achieve local results.

Through an outcomes-based community approach, the Designated Communities will define desired outcomes at the local level to prevent and reduce homelessness and the indicators that are associated with them. For each indicator, each community will establish targets that will help it to measure its progress. The Designated Communities will monitor the desired outcomes annually and report on them publicly to foster a common and up-to-date vision of the progress achieved and the challenges to be met collectively.

Implementation of Coordinated Access

Reaching Home emphasizes the implementation of a systems approach to access housing and services that is based on knowledge of the needs of the people being served and the various community stakeholders involved in homelessness working together.

As part of the program, the Designated Communities will design and implement locally a Coordinated Access system, a coordinated transparent systematic process to meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness in an equitable manner, by guiding them toward support services and measures offered by the community. Coordinated Access to support services and measures aims to better support the people served and to help them avoid and exit homelessness. Through Coordinated Access, people experiencing or at risk of homelessness are at the centre of services organization.

Progressively, each designated community will define its own coordinated access system according to the local context, including:

Appendix B: Quebec’s directions and priorities

In 2014, the Gouvernement du Québec released its Politique nationale de lutte à l’itinérance “Ensemble, pour éviter la rue et en sortir”. The policy was the result of the work of 13 of its departments and agencies.

The policy aims to establish a comprehensive, coherent and sustainable vision for preventing and eliminating homelessness in Quebec. The Gouvernement du Québec sent a clear message stating that we can no longer tolerate the intolerable. That the unacceptable can no longer be accepted. The policy focuses on inclusion and on getting everyone to participate in Quebec’s social, economic, political and cultural life. In this regard, government departments and agencies, the community sector, public institutions, cities, municipalities, merchants and all citizens are invited to work together to prevent and address homelessness.

The vision underlying the policy is based on the affirmation of dignity and capabilities, and on the recognition of every individual’s rights. It focuses on the importance of providing support and assistance both to protect people living on the street, and to help those who want to escape that way of living, in an expression of solidarity that goes well beyond strictly responding to emergency situations.

Definition of homelessness

“Homelessness is a process of social disaffiliation and a situation of social exclusion characterized by a person’s difficulty in having stable, safe, adequate and healthy home due to a lack of housing or his or her inability to maintain one and, at the same time, in maintaining functional, safe and stable relationships in the community. Homelessness is explained by a combination of social and individual factors that constitute the life experience of men and women.”

The guiding principles of the policy

Quebec’s policy on addressing homelessness has six guiding principles. These principles contribute to the development of a comprehensive, consistent and sustainable vision aimed at ensuring responses that are adapted to the needs of the individuals and their environments.

Policy priority areas of intervention and directions

Essential conditions for success

Plan d’action interministériel en itinérance 2015-2020 “Mobilisés et engagés pour prévenir et réduire l’itinérance”

On December 7, 2014, Quebec launched its Plan d’action interministériel en itinérance 2015-2020 “Mobilisés et engagés pour prévenir et réduire l’itinérance”, in accordance with the key directions in its policy on addressing homelessness. The action plan includes 31 actions and 111 ways to prevent and reduce homelessness. The main directions in the action plan result in the following:

Targeted actions to avoid the street

Quick and targeted actions to leave the street, such as:

Actions for First Nations and Inuit populations, such as:

Well-considered and joint actions

The Gouvernement du Québec will inform the Government of Canada in a timely manner of any changes related to Quebec’s homelessness directions and priorities.

List of CISSS and CIUSSS

CISSS and CIUSSS responsible for the coordination of the DC stream
Designated Communities Health region CISSS / CIUSSS
Saguenay Saguenay – Lac Saint-Jean CIUSSS du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec CMA Capitale-Nationale CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale
Chaudière-Appalaches CISSS de Chaudière-Appalaches
Trois-Rivières Mauricie-et-Centre-du-Québec CIUSSS de la Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du-Québec
Drummondville
Gatineau Outaouais CISSS de l’Outaouais
Sherbrooke Estrie CIUSSS de l’Estrie
Montréal CMA Montréal CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
Laval CISSS de Laval
Lanaudière CISSS de Lanaudière
Laurentides CISSS des Laurentides
Montérégie CISSS de la Montérégie-Centre
CISSS and CIUSSS responsible for the coordination of the RRH stream
Health region CISSS / CIUSSS
Bas-Saint-Laurent CISSS du Bas-Saint-Laurent
Saguenay – Lac-St-Jean CIUSSS du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
Capitale-Nationale CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale
Mauricie-et-Centre-du-Québec CIUSSS de la Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du-Québec
Estrie CIUSSS de l’Estrie
Outaouais CISSS de l’Outaouais
Côte-Nord CISSS de la Côte-Nord
Nord-du-Québec Centre régional de santé et de services sociaux de la Baie-James
Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine CISSS de la Gaspésie
Abitibi-Témiscamingue CISSS de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Chaudière-Appalaches CISSS de Chaudière-Appalaches
Lanaudière CISSS de Lanaudière
Laurentides CISSS des Laurentides
Montérégie CISSS de la Montérégie-Centre

Appendix C: Joint management committee (JMC)

This appendix concerns the strategic mandate of the JMC, its make-up and operations.

1. Mandate of the JMC

The JMC constitutes the official forum for decision-making and discussion on any matter deemed relevant by the Parties for the purposes of the Agreement. Its responsibilities are as follows:

1.1 Define and disseminate implementation parameters

1.1.1 Agree on the factors for allocating and distributing funding per Designated Community for the DC stream and per territory for the RRH stream;

1.1.2 Agree on and provide the CISSS/CIUSSS with information relating to the management of funding streams administered under the Agreement, including the details of the eligible and non-eligible RH activities set out in Appendix E and the portion of the funding that may be used to support the coordination and administration of funds referred to in articles 5.5.2 and 5.5.3;

1.1.3 Provide the CISSS/CIUSSS with interpretations of the RH program’s terms and conditions, as needed;

1.1.4 Inform the CISSS/CIUSSS of the parameters for implementing the community plans as part of the DC stream in accordance with Appendix D;

1.1.5 Agree on the parameters for monitoring annual community outcomes developed under the DC stream in accordance with Appendix D;

1.1.6 Agree on the procedures for providing the details of projects funded under RH and their annual results;

1.1.7 Collaborate in order to support the CISSS/CIUSSS in collecting and providing the details of projects funded under RH and their annual results (for example, guide, training).

1.2 Monitor the Agreement

1.2.1 Take note of community plans developed and updated, if appropriate, and ensure that they comply with the Agreement;

1.2.2 Take note of the parameters of calls for proposals and ensure that they comply with the Agreement;

1.2.3 Take note of investment plans following calls for proposals; in the event of specific requests from a community, such requests shall be dealt with by the JMC by taking into account identified community priorities and the population-based responsibility of the CISSS/CIUSSS with respect to homelessness;

1.2.4 Take note of projects funded under RH and their annual results;

1.2.5 Take note community results, reported on an annual basis;

1.2.6 Agree on the quantitative and qualitative information needed to evaluate the RH program, in accordance with section 15 of the Agreement.

1.3 Collaborate on communication

1.3.1 Define procedures for communicating in relation to the Agreement and funded projects, taking into account the complementarity of funding available under this Agreement and Quebec initiatives.

1.4 Collaborate on building community capacity and understanding of homelessness

1.4.1 Within sixty (60) working days of signing the Agreement, begin planning and carrying out joint work to:

  1. Identify procedures relating to the processing of non-identifying data for developing baseline data on the size and characteristics of populations experiencing homelessness, by having specifically considered the relevance of data from emergency shelter facilities;
  2. Recommend specific approaches for allowing the use of reliable data in order to meet the needs of the Parties in terms of research and the continuous improvement of knowledge on the causes, scope and evolution of homelessness, with a view to contributing to the development of effective government and community responses to the complex phenomenon of homelessness, and the ability of government and communities to report on trends observed and progress achieved.

1.4.2 Hold discussions on research or studies supported by either Party or that are of common interest, and on the sharing of related information and the dissemination of results;

1.4.3 Hold technical or methodological discussions concerning appropriate information tools with regard to homelessness that can meet the needs of communities and governments in this regard;

1.4.4 Support community capacity building with respect to homelessness, notably through training and sharing promising practices.

1.5 Collaborate in order to facilitate the transition from the 2014–19 HPS implementation model to the RH implementation model beginning in 2021–22

1.5.1 for the 2019–20 and 2020–21 fiscal years, ensure project selection and management in accordance with the transitional measures set out in article 4.1;

1.5.2 define the terms of co-operation to support the CISSS/CIUSSS in establishing the implementation model set out in article 4.2 of the Agreement. Canada, through Service Canada, agrees to provide its expertise and tools in this regard, as needed.

2. Membership and operation

2.1 The JMC is a joint committee co-chaired by a representative for Quebec from the MSSS and a representative for Canada from the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (hereafter EDSC). Each Party’s co-chair is designated in writing:

2.1.1 with regard to Canada, considering its RH management structure, its co-chair will vary depending on the nature of the topics discussed:

  1. in the case of a strategic mandate, by the senior representative referred to in article 11.1 of the Agreement, and
  2. in the case of an operational mandate, by the Assistant Deputy Minister at Service Canada, Quebec Region.

2.1.2 with regard to Quebec, considering the MSSS management structure for homelessness, by the senior representative referred to in article 11.2 of the Agreement.

2.2 Each co-chair may delegate JMC areas of responsibility to a designated individual, as needed.

2.3 The JMC is comprised of representatives for both Parties:

2.3.1 For the MSSS:

  1. a representative from the Direction générale adjointe des services sociaux généraux, des activités communautaires, services en dépendance et en itinérance;
  2. a representative from the Direction des affaires intergouvernementales et de la coopération internationale.

2.3.2 For ESDC:

  1. a representative from the Income Security and Social Development Branch
  2. a representative from Service Canada

2.4 Within the terms of the Agreement, the JMC’s decisions shall be made based on a consensus of the co-chairs. The CISSS/CIUSSS shall be informed of the JMC’s decisions by the Quebec co-chair. The JMC shall decide on its operating procedures, the necessary procedures for appointing members, and the priority issues to be addressed.

2.5 The JMC may call upon the assistance of outside resources, as required. Such resources may include additional representatives from the departments concerned, upon consensus of the co-chairs.

2.6 The JMC may call upon an Advisory Committee within its mandate and in accordance with article 4 of this appendix.

2.7 To facilitate the implementation of the Agreement, the designated co-chairs shall keep each other informed of their work as per established terms.

3. Dispute resolution

3.1 Any contentious matter under the Agreement shall be submitted to the JMC.

3.2 When the JMC is presented with an issue it cannot resolve to everyone’s satisfaction within thirty (30) days from the day on which it was apprised thereof, that issue shall be submitted to the senior representatives designated under article 11 of the Agreement for resolution and decision on a mutually agreeable solution.

4. Advisory Committee

4.1 Advisory Committee members are designated by the JMC, and in the event that these members represent an organization other than ESDC and MSSS, the JMC shall ensure ahead of time that the concerned organizations are in agreement.

4.2 The Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from Designated Communities and rural and remote communities, as well as organizations concerned under the Agreement.

4.3 The JMC shall determine the issues about which and timelines within which the Advisory Committee is to provide advice to the JMC or to meet with the JMC.

Appendix D: Community planning and monitoring of community outcomes

The purpose of this appendix is to define community planning activities and outcome monitoring activities to be carried out under this Agreement in the Designated Communities.

Clarifications regarding parameters for community plans and the monitoring of community outcomes shall be conveyed to the CISSS/CIUSSS by the Quebec co-chair of the JMC. The JMC shall review the community plans and annual monitoring outcomes.

1. Community plans

1.1 A community plan covering the period of 2019–20 to 2023–24 is completed in each Designated Community.

1.2 Development of the community plan and activities thereunder shall be coordinated by each CISSS/CIUSSS, which are responsible for its execution and monitoring. For community planning purposes, the CISSS/CIUSSS enlists a consultation table representative of the community, thereby enabling a shared understanding of the needs and distinctive characteristics of the populations experiencing or at risk of homelessness in their community, as well as the mobilization of partners.

1.3 As a minimum, community plans must include the following:

1.3.1 Community consultation

A description of the consultation table and other stakeholders that were consulted in the development of the community plan and that will be mobilized in its implementation.

1.3.2 Investment plan

An investment plan for funding received based on the following activity areas, defined in Appendix E:

  1. housing services
  2. prevention and referral to services provided outside of shelters
  3. client support services
  4. capital investments
  5. resource coordination and data collection

Community contributions, to demonstrate that the community has received funding from other partners at least equal to the contribution allocated by the DC stream.

1.3.3 Coordinated Access

An overview of the work to be completed from the end of fiscal year 2021–22 to develop and implement a Coordinated Access System, including its governance, consistent with the work done as part of the Agreement to Implement the Community Capacity and Innovation Stream of the Reaching Home Program in Quebec.

1.3.4 Community outcomes

The desired outcomes that each community plans to monitor, including chronic homelessness. For each outcome, the plan indicates the target set by the community and the indicators used to measure progress.

1.3.5 Communication and delivery of services tailored to clients served

A description of actions taken by the community to ensure appropriate communication with target populations, and a description of services tailored to the situation and needs of clients served.

2. Monitoring community outcomes

2.1 Every year beginning at the end of fiscal year 2021–22, each CISSS/CIUSSS shall publicly release the community outcomes and the work completed in implementing Coordinated Access, in a form that will have been discussed in advance by the JMC.

Appendix E: Priority areas: Eligible activities under Reaching Home

Based on the needs determined at the local level by the Centres intégrés de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) et centres intégrés universitaires de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) in collaboration with the community, the CISSS/CIUSSS may direct program contributions to the following five activity sectors, identified from A to E.

Examples of eligible and ineligible activities and expenses for each sector can be found below. Clarifications regarding eligible and ineligible activities under Reaching Home will be communicated to the CISSS/CIUSSS by the Joint Management Committee (JMC), as indicated in Appendix C, article 1.1.2.

Eligible cross-cutting activity – case management

Case management may be eligible in several activity sectors. Case management refers to a comprehensive and strategic form of service delivery where case managers assess the needs of individuals and families. If necessary, case managers can then organize, coordinate and request the delivery of programs and services designed to meet the needs of individuals to help them achieve their objectives and enhance their self-sufficiency (for example, directing clients to income support measures; providing pre-employment support and bridging to the labour market; supporting the development of life skills; helping clients re-enter the school system and ensuring success; providing supports for social integration; providing culturally relevant supports to Indigenous clients).

A: Housing service

Housing services are services that help an individual or family transition to more stable housing that is considered safe and adequate. This includes:

Ineligible activities include:

B: Prevention and referral to services outside shelters

Prevention activities are aimed at helping individuals and families at risk of becoming homeless find solutions to precarious situations in order to prevent them from ending up on the street. This includes:

Ineligible activities include:

C. Support services for individuals served

Eligible activities include services to meet essential needs, to promote socio-economic integration and to facilitate access to clinical and treatment services, including:

Ineligible activities include:

D. Capital investment

Eligible activities include capital investments to increase the capacity or improve the quality of facilities that meet the needs of individuals or families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

This sector includes the following activities:

Renovations include:

New construction includes:

Ineligible activities include:

E. Coordination des ressources et collecte de données

This sector includes activities contributing to the implementation of coordinated access, community capacity building and knowledge development on the homeless population.

The implementation of coordinated access and community capacity building includes the following eligible activities:

Eligible data collection activities include:

Ineligible activities include:

The purchase or developmentFootnote 4 of software or hardware to collect and manage homelessness data, and which builds on activities already offered through the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS).

Appendix F: contribution paid to Quebec for the transitional period 2019–20 and 2020–21

1. Purpose of the contribution

1.1.1 For the purposes of article 4.1.2 of the Agreement, this Appendix sets out the terms and conditions under which Canada pays Quebec a contribution in support of the execution by the CISSS/CIUSSS of the activities specified in article 1.2 of this Appendix, where Quebec agrees to allocate the contribution strictly for that purpose.

1.2 The specified activities are the ones that are executed by CISSS/CIUSSS under the Agreement:

  1. to coordinate the development of the community plan and calls for proposals by involving the consultation table
  2. to forward all projects coming from the community to the Joint Management Committee (JMC), and to recommend to the latter those that could be funded under the Agreement
  3. to support the updating, execution and monitoring of the community plan, and
  4. to follow up on the information and directions that are pertinent to the management of the RH program transmitted by the JMC as part of its mandate by way of the preparation or presentation of deliverables specified by it, according to the terms and conditions established by it

2. Payment terms and conditions and financial statements and annual activity reports

2.1 Canada shall pay its contribution through annual payments of up to $443,333 within thirty (30) days of the review and acceptance by Canada of the report submitted by Quebec in accordance with article 2.2 of this Appendix.

2.2 Within sixty (60) days of the end of each fiscal year, Quebec shall provide to Canada, as part of the JMC and in the format established by the latter, an annual report that includes:

  1. an attestation, by a senior financial officer of MSSS, that the amount requested under the terms and conditions of this Appendix, and not exceeding the amount indicated in article 2.1, was used for activities specified in article 1.2 during the fiscal year to the extent applicable thereto, and
  2. an attestation, by the Quebec co-chair of the JMC, that the activities specified in article 1.2 were carried out during the fiscal year.

3. Proactive disclosure of the contribution

3.1 Subject to the applicable access to information and privacy legislation, any information about contributions paid under this Appendix, namely their purpose and amount, may be released by Canada based on its commitment to proactively disclose grant and contribution payments.

4. Correspondence to eligible Reaching Home activities

4.1 The contribution targeted in this Appendix is deemed to support for RH eligible activities.

5. Relationship between the Parties

5.1 This Appendix deals only with the payment by Canada to Quebec of a financial contribution for the execution of the specified activities, and nothing herein shall be interpreted as establishing a relationship of any other nature between the Parties.

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