Tze Tza Watul (Cowichan) Community Advisory Board
“Working together (in sincerity) for the betterment of the People/community.”
About Tze Tza Watul, Cowichan Community Advisory Board on Homelessness
The Tze Tza Watul Cowichan Community Advisory Board (CAB) on Homelessness was formed to align leadership to oversee investments made in the Cowichan region to address homelessness through the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.
Tze Tza Watul receives funding from Reaching Home to invest in solutions to end homelessness for Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the community.
Investments are guided by the Reaching Home: Cowichan Community Homelessness Plan 2021-24 which was developed with input from community partners and updated regularly.
Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy
What is Reaching Home?
The Cowichan region receives funding through Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, which is a community-based program, funded by the Government of Canada.
Reaching Home aims to prevent and reduce homelessness across Canada. This program provides funding to urban, Indigenous, rural, and remote communities across the Cowichan region to address homelessness.
Reaching Home supports 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 2027.
What funds does the Cowichan Region receive?
Cowichan is a designated community to receive funds from the Government of Canada through Reaching Home. Funding is provided to Cowichan through two project streams:
Providing funding to organizations in the City of Duncan that offer supports to meet the unique needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
$179,500 is allocated for the Duncan Indigenous Homelessness Stream in 2021-22.
Providing funding to organizations who help support people experiencing homelessness, while working to reduce homelessness throughout the Cowichan region, including on First Nations.
The Cowichan region will receive approximately $464,000 annually between 2021 and 2024 to reinvest to end homelessness through the Cowichan Designated Communities stream.
How are the funds distributed?
United Way British Columbia – working with communities in BC’s Interior, Lower Mainland and Central & Northern Vancouver Island (UWBC) is the Community Entity (CE) for the Reaching Home initiative. As CE, it is the administrator for Federal Government funding and investment.
All Canadian communities that receive Reaching Home funding are required to have a Community Advisory Board (CAB). In Cowichan, Tze Tza Watul acts as the CAB and are voting members, formed by First Nations service providers, agencies and government representatives.
Tze Tza Watul plays a key role in establishing priorities to prevent and reduce homelessness in the community, encourages partnerships, coordinates community efforts, identifies priorities through a planning process, and votes on projects that should receive funding to the CE.
COVID-19 Emergency Response in Cowichan
COVID-19 Emergency Response in Cowichan
Tze Tza Watul members have approved more than $920,000 in Reaching Home COVID-19 emergency funding to address the challenges presented as a result of the pandemic. Some of these programs include:
- 39 cabins to provide safe shelter for those facing homelessness at three locations within the City of Duncan.
- Shelter support for local Indigenous women and families currently living unhoused.
- Emergency funding to help shelter spaces comply with COVID-19 health and safety regulations.
- Care packages including food and household items for families in need.
- Food provided for warming centre guests in the Town of Ladysmith.
Coordinated Access System
As part of the Federal Government’s Reaching Home investment, it is required for the Cowichan region to have a Coordinated Access System (CAS) in place by March 31, 2023.
CAS helps people facing homelessness access assistance in a coordinated and standardized way, which connects them with the support they need and places them into housing more efficiently.