Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy has launched in Greater Vancouver

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Yet every day, vulnerable Canadians experience homelessness, or are at risk of becoming homeless. The Government of Canada is taking action to help those in need and make a real impact to reduce homelessness across Canada.

Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the launch of Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy. Reaching Home replaced the previous Homelessness Partnering Strategy and continues to support communities’ efforts to prevent and reduce homelessness in Canada. It also supports the goals of the National Housing Strategy, specifically the reduction of chronic homelessness nationally by 50% by 2027-28.

Through Reaching Home, the Government of Canada reinforces its existing community-based approach by delivering funding directly to municipalities and local service providers. As of April 1, 2019, Greater Vancouver will receive over $85 million under Reaching Home over the next five years. This total includes all funding received through three funding streams: Designated Communities; Indigenous Homelessness; and Community Capacity and Innovation. Vancity Community Foundation is the interim Community Entity for the Designated Community of Greater Vancouver for the transition year in 2019-2020. Lu’ma Native Housing Society is the Community Entity for both the Indigenous Homelessness funding stream for Greater Vancouver and for Indigenous Homelessness funding for non-designated communities in British Columbia.

The Government of Canada continues to work with communities to develop and deliver data-driven systems with clear outcomes. This new outcomes-based approach, along with the removal of all Housing First investment targets, will keep decision making at the local level and give communities greater flexibility to address local priorities and achieve results for the most vulnerable within their communities.

Communities will also have three years to implement coordinated access to prioritize those individuals most in need of housing and support services. The Government is committed to supporting communities through this transformation by providing tools and access to training and technical assistance. A transition period is in place to ensure service continuity as communities implement the new elements of Reaching Home.

Quotes

“When one person is forced to live on the streets, we’re all diminished. Homelessness is a reality for too many Canadians and a challenge for every Canadian community. Through Reaching Home we’re working with other levels of government, NGOs, Indigenous partners and communities across Canada to provide more stable housing to people living in homelessness and increasing support for vulnerable groups. This is only the beginning and one of many changes that will make a real impact on the lives of vulnerable Canadians. By working together, we can reduce homelessness in our communities by 50% by 2027-28.”

– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“As Chair of the Advisory Committee on Homelessness, I’m pleased how the Committee’s recommendations provided the building blocks for the launch of Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy in Vancouver. By listening to each other, and in particular people with lived experience, and working together with Vancouver organizations like Vancity Community Foundation and Lu’ma Native Housing Society, we can end homelessness in our communities.”

– Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick facts

  • Reaching Home replaced the Homelessness Partnering Strategy on April 1, 2019.

  • The Government of Canada has committed a total investment of $2.2 billion over 10 years to tackle homelessness. By 2021-22, this will double annual investments compared to 2015-16.

  • Currently, the Designated Communities stream provides long-term homelessness funding to 58 communities outside of Quebec and the territories, covering 78% of the Canadian population.

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