Reaching Home 

The Government of Canada's Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy is a federal program that funds communities to prevent, address, and work towards reducing chronic homelessness.

Nanaimo and the Cowichan Region are designated communities with Reaching Home. 


Reaching Home is making a difference by:

  • Supporting a variety of initiatives geared towards preventing and reducing homelessness.
  • Ensuring funding meets local needs by putting funding decisions in the hands of local service providers, residents, and First Nations.

  • Developing Coordinated Access Systems (CAS) to provide streamlined access to housing and supports.


All Reaching Home funding recipients are required to submit reporting documents to their Community Entity (CE). These reports are shared with the Government of Canada's Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy to track spending, measure impact and efficacy, and inform future policies and programs.

Please visit our Reporting page for more information and documents.

Community Advisory Boards (CAB)

Every community that receives Reaching Home funding is required to form a Community Advisory Board (CAB) responsible for engaging with community members, setting priorities, and determining funding allocations to address homelessness in the community or region.
CAB members bring a range of personal and professional experience to the role, and include First Nations, local service providers, members of government, public health, police and public safety officials, and people with lived experience. 

UWBC & Reaching Home

UWBC (Central and Northern Vancouver Island) is a designated Community Entity (CE) for Reaching Home in Nanaimo and Cowichan.

This role means that we:

  • Leverage decades of local relationships with service providers and community programs

  • Provide administrative support to CABs in Nanaimo and Cowichan
  • Hold and administer funding dollars as directed by local CABs

United Way British Columbia has been the CE in Nanaimo for more than five years, and the CE in the Cowichan area for even longer.  We're proud to utilize our existing relationships with local agencies, our knowledge of local programs, and our years of studying local needs to help direct funding to truly impactful initiatives. As part of Reaching Home, we're not only getting people housing and support, but making our communities a better home for everyone. 

Coordinated Access Systems

As part of Reaching Home funding requirements, both Nanaimo and Cowichan will develop a Coordinated Access System (CAS) to streamline the way people experiencing homelessness can access services.

Reaching Home Funded Programs

In the fiscal year 2020-2021, United Way funded 28 agencies and 60 programs/activities in Cowichan and Nanaimo thanks to the Government of Canada's Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy.

Reaching Home in Your Community

Find all Reaching Home interviews on our YouTube channel.

Read all of our Reaching Home blogs on the Latest News section of our website.


There’s Work Left To Do for Bev Suderman

April 2022
After a near-death experience in a car accident, Bev Suderman’s life changed and helped her to figure out what she really wants to do. The CVRD community planner and Cowichan CAB co-chair discusses the Cowichan region, homelessness, and centering…

A night delivering food with Stone Soup

March 2022
VIDEO: Supported by United Way funding, Wisteria Community Association’s Stone Soup program is out every night in Nanaimo, providing essential food, community and care to for those living in poverty or out on the street.

Getting charities and businesses working together

March 2022
VIDEO: A housing crisis and natural disasters are making it harder for the Clements Centre to reach the folks they serve. But funding through United Way is helping them to forge successful partnerships with other organizations and businesses, and…

Coming home sober

January 2022
Island resident shares what it took to get to this point in his journey overcoming alcoholism, and where he’s hoping to go next.