Reaching Home is a community based federally funded program aimed at supporting community members who are homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless. Reaching home is a product of the National Housing Strategy which over the next 10 years will invest over 55 billion dollars towards ending homelessness in Canada while at the same time helping to strengthen and support the community. This is not only to reduce homelessness, but to ensure that every Canadian has affordable housing. Affordable housing is an extremely important topic as so many of our community members have to make the difficult choice of having to choose between paying their rent or putting food on their table.
The National Housing Strategy’s hope is that by 2028 they will be able to reduce homelessness by at least 50% thus reducing cost on many other systems.
The Portage la Prairie Reaching Home Program receives funding through the Brandon Neighborhood Renewal Corporation (BNRC).
You can read more about the national reaching home strategy here.
To contact the Reaching Home Team please call 204-240-7272 or by email:
Tawnee Kowerchuk - Reaching Home Coordinator
Alexa Kowerchuk - Reaching Home Case Manager
Homelessness is the situation of an individual or family who does not have a permanent address or residence; the living situation of an individual or family who does not have stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means and ability of acquiring it.
It is often the result of what are known as systemic or societal barriers, including a lack of affordable and appropriate housing, the individual/household’s financial, mental, cognitive, behavioural or physical challenges, and/or racism and discrimination.
Refers to individuals who are currently experiencing homelessness AND who meet at least 1 of the following criteria:
they have a total of at least 6 months (180 days) of homelessness over the past year
they have recurrent experiences of homelessness over the past 3 years, with a cumulative duration of at least 18 months (546 days)
Chronic homelessness includes time spent in the following contexts:
Staying in unsheltered locations, that is public or private spaces without consent or contract, or places not intended for permanent human habitation (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) Typology: 1.1 and 1.2).
Staying in emergency shelters, including overnight shelters for people experiencing homelessness (including those for specific populations, such as youth, families, and newcomers), shelters for people impacted by family violence, and emergency shelters for people fleeing a natural disaster or destruction of accommodation (COH Typology: 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3).
Staying temporarily with others without guarantee of continued residency or the immediate prospects for accessing permanent housing, or short-term rental accommodations (for example, motels) without security of tenure (COH typology: 3.2 and 3.3).
It does not include situations where individuals have access to secure, permanent housing, whether subsidized or not. The definition also does not include time spent in transitional housing or in public institutions (for example, health and corrections), although individuals who are discharged into homelessness from transitional housing or public institutions can be considered chronically homeless if they were experiencing chronic homelessness upon entry to transitional housing or the public institution.
Recognizing the diversity of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and that Indigenous Peoples may choose to refer to themselves in their own languages, the following definition of Indigenous homelessness is inclusive of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit, status and non-status persons, regardless of residency or membership status.
For the purposes of Reaching Home, and subject to revision based on ongoing engagement and consultation with Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous homelessness refers to “Indigenous Peoples who are in the state of having no home due to colonization, trauma and/or whose social, cultural, economic, and political conditions place them in poverty. Having no home includes: those who alternate between shelter and unsheltered, living on the street, couch surfing, using emergency shelters, living in unaffordable, inadequate, substandard and unsafe accommodations or living without the security of tenure; anyone regardless of age, released from facilities (such as hospitals, mental health and addiction treatment centers, prisons, transition houses), fleeing unsafe homes as a result of abuse in all its definitions, and any youth transitioning from all forms of care”.
Reaching Home Portage la Prairie uses a comparative model to the above coordinated access system, the system is not identical as Portage la Prairie is a much smaller community, but by working closely with the Wawokiya program Reaching Home is able to provide a similar process for clients.
Funding for Reaching Home is provided by: