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About Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy

Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness across Canada. This program provides funding to urban, Indigenous, rural and remote communities to help them address their local homelessness needs.

Reaching Home supports the goals of the National Housing Strategy, in particular, to support the most vulnerable Canadians in maintaining safe, stable and affordable housing and to reduce chronic homelessness nationally by 50% by fiscal year 2027 to 2028.

Homelessness has an impact on every community in Canada. It affects individuals, families, women fleeing violence, youth, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities. In 2016, an estimated 129,000 people experienced homelessness at an emergency shelter. This is why when Reaching Home was launched in 2019, we committed $2.2 billion to tackle homelessness across the country. Since then, we have nearly doubled our commitment to nearly $4 billion over 9 years. This includes over $1.1 billion in new investments through Budgets 2021 and 2022, to further support communities in addressing homelessness for individuals and families across Canada.

Outcomes-based approach

We are working with communities to develop and deliver community plans with clear outcomes. To support the outcomes-based approach, all Housing First investment targets have been removed to give communities more flexibility to address local needs and priorities.

Coordinated Access system

Through a Coordinated Access system, communities prioritize people who are most in need of assistance and match them to appropriate housing and services. The system helps to ensure fairness and streamline access to housing and services.

Homeless Individuals and Families Information System

The Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS) is a data collection and case management system that allows multiple service providers in the same community to access real-time data and to increase coordination of services. HIFIS supports daily operations, data collection and the development of a national portrait on homelessness.

Increasing the understanding of homelessness

Reaching Home continues to support efforts to increase the understanding of homelessness in Canada and to ensure that communities have the information and tools they need to prevent and reduce homelessness. Available reports include analyses of shelter capacity and shelter use data, as well as the nationally-coordinated Point-in-Time Counts.

Addressing Indigenous homelessness

Reaching Home dedicates increased funding to address Indigenous homelessness. Through the community-based approach, these funds provide communities with greater flexibility and support in determining their own initiatives, local priorities and collaboration with Indigenous partners.

Addressing homelessness in the territories

Reaching Home introduces a new Territorial Homelessness stream. This stream retains the community-based nature of the program and gives more flexibility in how funding can be used to address the unique homelessness challenges in the 3 territories.

Addressing homelessness in rural and remote areas

Addressing homelessness in rural and remote areas continues to be a priority for the government. In Budget 2016, this funding was doubled and under Reaching Home, this funding level has been maintained.

Building Strong Communities with the National Housing Strategy

Reaching Home supports the goals of the National Housing Strategy which recognizes that safe and affordable housing is at the heart of every strong community.

The National Housing Strategy has programs and initiatives that can help communities support vulnerable Canadians by:

  • creating new housing supply
  • renovating and repairing existing housing

The strategy is currently a 10-year, $82+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home. It will create vibrant and inclusive communities where people want to live, work and play.

It provides resources for community housing providers, in addition to funding, innovation and research programs.

Funding opportunities are available and more information can be found on Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's website.

Transfer of Reaching Home to Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Canada

On April 1, 2023, the Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy was transferred from Employment and Social Development Canada to Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Canada. This transfer was a structural change within the Government of Canada and had no impact on the nature or funding of the Reaching Home program.

Please read these questions and answers for more details.

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