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;
- 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;
- A CHR: Overview for Communities training webinar, which covers the CHR basics, new elements for this year, and roles and responsibilities; and,
- Training webinars covering each of the sections of the CHR – Section 1, Section 2, Section 3 and Section 4.
- A cross-referencing tool that describes how the CHR questions and Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness Scorecards intersect;
- The Community-Level Data Comparison Worksheet, which was developed to help communities self-assess the comprehensiveness of their List in Question 3.20 of the 2021-22 CHR template;
- A Questions and Answers document, compiling questions identified by communities during CHR Q&A sessions or through their Service Canada representative. This document will be updated to reflect new questions and answers over time.
Recognizing the context that is impacting the implementation of Reaching Home in British Columbia, a tailored CHR reporting template and Reporting Cycle Overview Document and webinar are available for these communities for the 2021-22 reporting cycle.
Finally, two other e-courses can be consulted to help you complete your CHR:
- A Community Homelessness Report: HIFIS Report e-course was developed to support communities with completing Section 4 of their CHR using the CHR HIFIS Report.
- The Explaining Coordinated Access and the Outcomes-based Approach under Reaching Home webcast, which provides an overview of these two components of the federal Reaching Home program, with a focus on its minimum requirements