Reaching Home

What is Reaching Home? 

Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy is the Government of Canada’s community-based program, aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness across Canada. This program provides funding to urban, Indigenous, rural and remote communities to help people facing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. 

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 2027. 

Reaching Home Response to COVID-19 

In March 2020, the Government of Canada announced additional funding to temporarily support people at risk of or experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Nanaimo has received $1,254,632 since April 2020 in emergency COVID-19 funding, through two funding streams in response to the crisis. $868,909 has already been allocated to 17 organizations delivering 25 programs. The remaining funds will be allocated to other programs working to end homelessness in the region. Those funds were distributed to: 

  • continue to offer homeless intervention outreach services in a safe way 
  • re-open existing services in keeping with COVID-19 health and safety regulations 
  • create new transitional housing 
  • provide urgent outreach services for substance use and addiction 
  • provide mobile outreach for Indigenous homeless youth
  • connect Indigenous clients to health services, mental health support, and substance use treatment. 
  • open a free shower program and food and water provisions for people facing homelessness 
  • offer food hampers, personal hygiene supplies etc.   
  • peer-led, community response initiatives in response to opioid overdose increases 

What Reaching Home funds does Nanaimo receive?  

Nanaimo is a designated community to receive funds from the Government of Canada through Reaching Home. Funding is provided to Nanaimo through two project streams:

Indigenous Homelessness: providing funding to organizations that offer supports to meet the unique needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. 

Designated Communities: providing funding to organizations who help support people experiencing homelessness, while working to reduce homelessness. 

Nanaimo receives approximately $525,000 annually to reinvest into Nanaimo’s efforts to end homelessness through the Designated Communities Stream. Another $217,000 is allocated for the Indigenous Homelessness Stream. 

How are the Funds invested? 

In Nanaimo, Reaching Home funds are invested in the following areas: 

  • Housing Services 
  • Prevention and Shelter Diversion 
  • Support Services 
  • Capital Investments 
  • Coordination of Resources and Data Collection 

How are funds distributed in Nanaimo?  

United Way BC – Central & Northern Vancouver Island (UWBC – CNVI) is the Community Entity (CE) for the Reaching Home initiative. As CE, it is the administrator for Federal Government funding and investments.  

All Canadian communities that receive Reaching Home funding are required to have a Community Advisory Board (CAB). In Nanaimo, the CAB is formed of voting members representing non-profits, First Nations, service providers, agencies and governments. 

The CAB 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, and votes on projects that should receive funding from the CE.  

What is the Nanaimo Homeless Coalition? 

The Nanaimo Homeless Coalition brings together non-profit organizations, governments and concerned citizens to create a united front. Together we are developing and driving solutions to end homelessness while diminishing the harm caused by homelessness on individuals and community. 

The Nanaimo Homeless Coalition offers guidance and direction on service delivery for our most at-risk residents. By bringing together the many organizations working to address homelessness, we are more impactful and effective in our collaboration. 

Local Action

Coordinated Access

Coordinated Access will help people facing homelessness access assistance in a coordinated and standardized way, connecting them with the support they need and placing them into housing more efficiently.

Resources to help you

Do You Need Help?

If you’re looking for mental health support, shelter, addictions treatment, food banks and more, BC 211 can help.

Or search HelpSeeker for access to over 770 services, programs and resources in Nanaimo.