Reaching Home is a community-based program delivered by a local Community Entity in all communities outside Quebec. In each community, a Community Advisory Board or a Regional Advisory Board supports the Community Entity by coordinating partnerships with homelessness stakeholders and establishing priorities to prevent and reduce homelessness in the community or region.
A Community Entity is normally an incorporated organization, such as a municipal government or an established not-for-profit organization that enters into a funding agreement with Employment and Social Development Canada. The Community Entity brings together community stakeholders to form a Community Advisory Board to help develop a community plan. The Community Entity also has the responsibility to implement the community plan, solicit project proposals, approve projects, contracts, monitor all agreements with third-party service providers, and prepare contribution agreements, report on its activities and disbursements, collect and share data and information and report on the community results.
Community Advisory Board
All communities that receive funding from the Designated Communities stream and the Indigenous Homelessness stream are required to have a Community Advisory Board. A Community Advisory Board usually has officials from all levels of government, community stakeholders, and the private and voluntary sectors. The Community Advisory Board plays a key role in establishing priorities to prevent and reduce homelessness in the community, encourages partnerships, coordinates community efforts, identifies priorities through a planning process, integrates the efforts with those of the province or territory, and recommends projects to the Community Entity.
Regional Advisory Board
Similar to the Community Advisory Board, the Regional Advisory Board is the committee responsible for establishing local priorities to prevent and reduce homelessness in communities outside of the Designated Communities funding stream.
Housing First is an effective way to reduce homelessness, as well as reduce pressure on other emergency services. Housing First under Reaching Home involves moving people experiencing homelessness from the streets or homeless shelters directly into permanent housing.
Backed by a large body of evidence, the Housing First approach was a priority for the Homelessness Partnering Strategy in 2014. Under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, eligible Housing First projects targeted people who were chronically and episodically homeless.
Under Reaching Home, the Housing First approach will continue to be supported as a proven approach to tackling homelessness, including chronic homelessness, which is an important priority to the Government of Canada. However, as of April 1, 2019, all mandatory Housing First investment targets have been removed. This gives communities more flexibility to use the Housing First approach for vulnerable populations, beyond those experiencing chronic homelessness.
Everyone Counts: Coordinated Point-in-Time Count
The Government of Canada supports coordinated homeless counts in communities across Canada. Communities use a common Point-in-Time count approach, which was developed in consultation with communities that have experience using this method.
When communities conduct counts at the same time of year using a common approach, the results are used to build a better understanding of homelessness in Canada. Everyone Counts - A Guide to Point-in-Time Counts in Canada – 2nd Edition describes how to participate in the coordinated Point-in-Time count.
See yourself as a partner - Guide to Community Partnership Development
See yourself as a partner: Guide to Community Partnership Development is a how-to guide developed between the University of Ottawa, a working group of community participants and with Employment and Social Development Canada. This guide addresses homelessness through partnerships and includes key considerations, questions, checklists, templates and other tools to create, maintain and evaluate community partnerships.
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