Funding: Expansion of Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy - Designated Communities stream - Overview

Grants and Contributions projects affected by COVID-19

Please contact your funding representative if your project is affected by COVID-19.

Current status: Closed

The new Designated Communities are:

  • Abbotsford, BC
  • Chilliwack, BC
  • Cowichan Valley, BC
  • Lambton County, ON
  • Cochrane District (Timmins), ON
  • Kenora, ON

We will negotiate with the selected Community Entity in each successful community to enter into a funding agreement beginning in fiscal year 2021 to 2022 to 2023 to 2024.

Learn more about other funding opportunities

1. Overview

We are accepting applications from new communities interested in receiving contribution funding from the Designated Communities (DC) stream under Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy. On June 11, 2018, Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development announced that Reaching Home will replace the existing Homelessness Partnering Strategy on April 1, 2019.

The application process aims to expand the Designated Communities stream by up to 4 to 6 communities. The overall funding available for new Designated Communities will gradually ramp up, starting with a total of $1 million in fiscal year 2019 to 2020, approximately $1.9 million in fiscal year 2020 to 2021, and reaching a total of $3 million in fiscal year 2021 to 2022. The community-level allocations will be determined after the final selection of communities.

This expansion process is limited to communities outside Quebec and the territories, given the unique program delivery models that will be employed in these regions. In Quebec, Reaching Home will be delivered through a formal Canada-Quebec agreement that respects the jurisdiction and priorities of both governments in addressing homelessness. Furthermore, in order to address homelessness in territories, Reaching Home will introduce a new Territorial Homelessness stream that will offer increased funding in each of the territories and enhance flexibility on the use of the funding to address the unique homelessness challenges in the north in particular with regard to capital projects.

About Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy

Reaching Home is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness. It will provide direct funding to Designated Communities as well as to Indigenous and rural and remote communities across Canada to support their efforts in addressing local needs and develop local solutions to homelessness.

Outside Quebec, Reaching Home will use a third-party delivery model where a community body (for example, a municipal government or non-profit organization) known as the Community EntityFootnote 1 (CE) will be entrusted through a single contribution agreement with the ability to select, approve and manage projects in the local area based on the local community homelessness plan and priorities. This approach will provide communities with the flexibility to invest in proven approaches that reduce homelessness at the local level and enhances community capacity to develop long-term sustainable solutions to homelessness.

Reaching Home is designed to support 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.

Reaching Home’s webpage is currently under development. Learn additional details on the current program on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

Two-step application process

To select 4 to 6 new communities to expand the Designated Communities stream of Reaching Home, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is launching a two-step application process.

Step 1: Call for Concepts

The first step is a competitive Call for Concepts. The objective of this step is to invite communities outside of Quebec and the territories with a population size of 25,000 and over (based on Census 2016) to demonstrate the need for long term stable federal homelessness funding. Given that we will enter into only one agreement per successful new community, and that local level collaboration is fundamental to the success of the program, it is recommended that community stakeholders collaborate to develop only one concept per community. The community can also propose a list of organizations that can potentially undertake the role of the Community Entity. At the end of this step, successful communities will be advised that they are invited to apply to the second step. Success at the first stage does not guarantee selection as a new Designated Community.

We reserve the right to accept a concept in whole or in part and give consideration to factors including geographic coverage, official language requirements and the considerations of other orders of governments.

This is a competitive process and not all applications submitted under this process will be retained.

Step 2: Targeted solicitation

The second step of the application process will be a targeted solicitation process. The shortlisted communities from Step 1 will be invited to submit a full proposal for consideration. A subset of these communities will be selected as new Designated Communities. ESDC will negotiate with the selected Community Entity in each successful community to enter into a funding agreement beginning in fiscal year 2019 to 2020 and ending on March 31, 2024. Another guide with specific instructions for the targeted solicitation will be provided to shortlisted communities.


  • Call for Concepts (Step 1): February 1, 2019 to March 8, 2019
  • Notification of decision: spring 2019
  • Targeted Call for Proposals (Step 2): spring 2019
  • Anticipated agreement start date: fall 2019


This application process provides you with the information required to complete your application under Step 1 (Call for Concepts). It is recommended that you read the entire process before you submit your application.