Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy is a federal program that provides funding directly to communities to help them address local homelessness priorities using a more systems-based and data-driven approach. This approach was adopted in recognition that preventing and reducing homelessness requires not only access to safe and adequate housing, but also a high degree of coordination across funders and community organizations, as well as meaningful collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners.
This e-course was developed to support communities with completing their Reaching Home Community Homelessness Report (CHR).
What is the CHR?
The CHR is an annual Reaching Home reporting deliverable that supports communities to prevent and reduce homelessness using a more coordinated, systems-based and data-driven response. The CHR is designed to support local discussions and decision making, with a focus on the full picture of homelessness at the community level and the collective efforts of service providers working across the homeless-serving system to address it.
More specifically, through their CHR, communities self-assess their progress with Reaching Home implementation, which includes the following key components:
- community-level governance and service delivery (Coordinated Access);
- use of a Homelessness Management Information System (HMIS);
- the transition to an outcomes-based approach (tracking community-level outcomes using a Unique Identifier List, also known as a By-Name List or, more simply, a List); and,
- collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners.
As identified in the Reaching Home Directives, communities are required to transition to an outcomes-based approach and report on five core community-level outcomes each year through a CHR. Communities are encouraged to use their CHR data to develop clear plans of action that help them to reach their homelessness reduction targets.
Who is required to complete the CHR?
As identified in the Reaching Home Directives, communities receiving funding from the Designated Communities stream (outside of Quebec) are required to submit a CHR each year. This requirement also applies to communities funded through the Territorial Homelessness stream that also receive funding to implement Coordinated Access.
Communities in Quebec and those receiving either Indigenous Homelessness or Rural and Remote Homelessness stream funding are not required to complete a CHR.
In communities where the Designated Communities and Indigenous Homelessness streams co-exist, Community Entities and Community Advisory Boards of the Designated Communities stream are strongly encouraged to collaborate with their Indigenous Homelessness stream counterparts in the development of their CHR.
What reporting tools are available for the CHR as part of this e-course?
To support the current reporting cycle, communities can access:
- the 2021-22 CHR reporting template – this is the tool that communities use to submit their CHR to the federal government; and,
- the 2021-22 Community Homelessness Report Reference Guide – this document provides section-by-section instructions on how to complete, submit and reflect on the CHR. Throughout the document, references are made to tips, definitions and additional tools. The Reference Guide also highlights key changes made this year and gives an overview of the CHR, Coordinated Access and the outcomes-based approach under Reaching Home.
Recognizing the context that is impacting the implementation of Reaching Home in British Columbia, a tailored CHR reporting template and Reporting Cycle Overview Document is available for these communities for the 2021-22 reporting cycle.
Over the coming weeks, additional resources will be released to further support communities with completing their 2021-22 CHR, including an updated Questions and Answers document, an updated cross-referencing tool that describes how the CHR questions and Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness Scorecards intersect, as well as new recorded training webcasts.