Reaching Home Program Continues Focus on Community’s Unhoused During COVID-19 Crisis

Jun 10, 2020

Victoria, BC– Through its Reaching Home Program (RHP), significant progress has been made by the Capital Regional District (CRD) in allocating funds to support people in the region who are without shelter or housing, and to provide health and support services during the COVID-19 health emergency.

Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy is a community-based program aimed at addressing homelessness. The Government of Canada’s program supports services and programs that help people experiencing or at risk of homelessness access or sustain safe, stable and affordable housing.

In March, the Government of Canada announced it would be providing the RHP with an additional $157.5M across Canada to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The 2020-2021 funding allocation in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area is $1,312,852:

  • $917,880 allocated under the Reaching Home Designated Communities funding stream; and,
  • $394,972 allocated under Reaching Home Indigenous Homelessness funding stream.

The CRD, designated as the Community Entity to administer this funding, provides financial contributions through sub-project agreements to non-profit organizations. So far, about $730,000 in supplemented funds have been identified for allocation to local program providers to reduce the negative impacts of COVID-19 during this health emergency. They include: Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness, Victoria Native Friendship Centre, AIDS Vancouver Island, Dandelion Society, Threshold Housing Society, Peers Victoria Resources Society, Sooke Region Communities Health Network, Jones Bar-B-Que.

In April, the RHP Community Advisory Board approved the COVID-19 Funding Strategy which addressed three key priority areas for action:

  • short-term sheltering and support programs for people currently without shelter and at risk of infection from the COVID-19 virus;
  • keeping individuals stably housed and/or sheltered during the emergency response period; and,
  • ensuring individuals and households in RHP funded programs have short-term access to goods and/or services to meet basic needs to which access may have been disrupted due to the emergency response to protect against COVID-19 contagion.

This funding is in addition to the CRD’s current Reaching Home allocations of $870,753 in Designated Communities and $337,256 in Indigenous Homelessness funding in 2020-2021. The funding can be used for a range of needs such as supplies to support physical distancing, the provision of harm reduction and basic needs services as well funding to secure accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.

CRD staff are engaging with Reaching Home funded programs, local First Nations as well as planning groups in four areas of the region (Victoria, Sooke, Sidney and Salt Spring Island) to identify needs.

Staff also continue to work closely with BC Housing, Social Development and Poverty Reduction (SDPR), and Island Health as well as the Victoria Foundation and the United Way of Greater Victoria to coordinate the use of the Reaching Home COVID-19 funds.

While new programs and contracts are being negotiated on a daily basis, currently approximately $533,000 in funding remains to be used for emerging priorities. 

For more information on Reaching Home please visit:


Proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and Canada’s Greenest Employers, the CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at



For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications
Tel: 250.360.3229
Cell: 250.216.5492