Overview: Reaching Home

Backgrounder

Overview: Reaching Home

Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy was launched in April 2019 and supports the goals of the National Housing Strategy, in particular, to support the needs of the most vulnerable Canadians; to improve access to safe, stable and affordable housing; and to reduce chronic homelessness by 50 percent by 2027-28.

Reaching Home is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness across Canada. It provides funding and support to urban, Indigenous, territorial and rural and remote communities to help them address their local homelessness needs. The main objective of Reaching Home is to streamline access to housing and supports for people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, by coordinating local services to achieve community-wide outcomes using real-time data.

Program features

A community-based approach

Funding is primarily delivered through the Community Entity model. The Community Entity, normally an incorporated organization (i.e. community's municipal government or an established not-for-profit organization), implements the community plan and is responsible for the selection, approval and management of projects in the local area. Community Entities are supported by a Community Advisory Board responsible for developing the community plan and recommending projects for funding at the community level.

Reaching Home continues to reinforce a community-based approach, and, in 2020, was expanded to six new Designated Communities.

Coordinated Access

A number of communities are required to implement a Coordinated Access system through Reaching Home, which prioritizes those individuals most in need of housing and support services utilizing a common Homelessness Management Information System. Coordinated Access will help communities shift towards a more coordinated and systems-based approach to addressing homelessness.

More flexibility for communities under an outcomes-based approach

A number of communities are also required to adopt an outcomes-based approach, where they work with local organizations and service providers to achieve community-level outcomes and track progress against targets using a Unique Identifier List. This keeps decision making at the local level, and gives communities greater flexibility to address local priorities, including homelessness prevention and programming designed to meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

Reaching Home funding streams

Reaching Home has four regional funding streams. Funding under each stream is delivered through regionally-managed contribution agreements with Community Entities.Footnote 1

  • Designated Communities: provides funding to 64 urban communities outside the territories.
  • Indigenous Homelessness: provides funding to 30 communities (urban centres outside of the territories) for the delivery of culturally-appropriate services for Indigenous peoples who are at-risk of or experiencing homelessness.
  • Territorial Homelessness: provides funding to the 3 territorial capitals to address the unique homelessness challenges in the territories.
  • Rural and Remote Homelessness: provides funding for projects in non-Designated Communities, which includes any community outside of the Designated Communities and Territorial Homelessness streams.

Reaching Home also has two nationally-delivered funding streams.

  • Community Capacity and Innovation: provides funding to support the implementation of Coordinated Access and for innovative solutions to homelessness.
  • Distinctions-based Approaches and Modern Treaty Holder: provides dedicated funding to address the specific and unique needs of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Federal investments

As of June 2022, the Government of Canada has committed approximately $3 billion over 9 years through Reaching Home.

Most recently, Budget 2022 proposed to provide an additional $562.2 million over two years, beginning in 2024-25, to maintain Reaching Home's 2023-24 funding levels to support communities in their vital work to prevent and reduce homelessness.

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