Tze Tza Watul Community Advisory Board

About Tze Tza Watul


“Working together (in sincerity) for the betterment of the People/community.”


The Cowichan Valley receives funding through Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, which is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness across Canada. This program provides funding to urban, Indigenous, rural, and remote communities across the Cowichan region to help them address their local homelessness needs.

As a Community Entity that receives funding from the Government of Canada under the Reaching Home Strategy, the Cowichan Valley needs a Coordinated Access system to prioritize people in need of help and match them to housing and services that fit their needs. The system will help make accessing community and social services a simpler, smoother process.

As the backbone of Coordinated Access, a Systems Mapping initiative will also be underway in the Cowichan Valley to understand community assets and provide a real-time information source to inform coordination activities at the client, service provider, and decision-making level. 


Share your experience

We would like to invite you to attend a 2-hour working sessions to gather community input on:

  1. How to equip Cowichan to better respond to systemic inequities, COVID, changes to demand, and client needs:
  2. What an ideal coordinated access system looks like, including:
    • Shared outcomes (ex. equitable access, reducing chronic homelessness, etc.)
    • Shared ways of working (ex. intake, assessment, prioritization, referral , and matching)
  3. Steps to ensure coordination is achievable and meaningful, such as:
    • Coordination priorities in the short, medium, and long term
    • Relationship-building and creating the foundation for coordination
    • Action steps to support coordination

The working session will be grounded in real issues and barriers surfaced by people with lived and living experience. We will also discuss what people with lived, and living, experience view as an ideal system, and ways to collectively achieve that vision. These sessions are open to anyone who would like to attend, including service providers, front-line workers, community funders, Indigenous peoples, and policy makers.

Why Participate?

  • This is a unique opportunity to influence how coordination looks at an agency, sector and systems level
  • You know the importance of relationship-building in coordination, and want to collaboratively with others to achieve common goals
  • Your feedback will inform the next steps for Coordinated Access design and implementation

Register Here

What is Coordinated Access?


Coordinated Access systems are ways to make sure individuals and families looking for help are matched with, or can easily find, services that meet their needs.

Coordination looks different in every community. Strong Coordinated Access systems share several features, such as shared information, real-time data on clients and available resources, clear access points for finding information and services, and resources (such as staff or information) to help people connect with appropriate supports.

What problems does coordination solve?

The goal of Coordinated Access is to reduce barriers to accessing services in Cowichan. Examples of barriers a person looking for help might experience include:

  •  Lack of up-to-date information
  • Fear of asking for help
  • Transportation
  • Paperwork
  • Limited hours of operation
  • Access during COVID-19
  • Wait times
  • Systemic and structural barriers

What is Systems Mapping?

Systems Mapping is the process of creating a comprehensive, open real-time inventory of all social and community support services offered within a community. The Systems Map is free and accessible to anyone with a smartphones or computer.


What problems does Systems Mapping solve?

The goal of systems mapping is to provide a comprehensive source of information for people looking for help, service providers, and decision-makers. Systems mapping helps address problems such as:

  • Struggling to keep information up-to-date
  • Identifying service duplication and gaps
  • Fear of asking for help
  • Deciding how to spend resources effectively
  • Unequal access to information for under-represented and marginalized groups

Communities across Canada are coming together 

Building a Systems Map and Coordinated Access system is a chance to not only coordinate services for people experiencing homelessness, but also services for anyone looking for help.

People looking for help have many different needs. Therefore, people need a system to help them meet those needs that is approachable & effective. Services need to fit the needs of the Cowichan region and the people who live in it.


Restoring Relationships

In the spirit of Reconciliation, we recognize the value of co-creating Coordinated  Access with First Nations to ensure an inclusive, equitable system of access. We are committed to building the foundational relationships with First Nations required for coordination and reducing systemic barriers to participation

The Cowichan Valley is starting a journey

With the sponsorship of the Tze Tza Watul Cowichan CAB, a first phase community engagement process will happen over the next 2 months to gather community input to inform a Coordinated Access system. Questions that will be considered as a part of this process include:

  • How can Coordinated Access support Reconciliation & self-determination?
  • How can organizations & Nations work together?
  • What do community members experience when accessing services?
  • How can we ensure services are valuable to the people who use them?
  •  How much should other sectors or organizations be involved?

The community engagement process will use a blend of Indigenous and design methods to gather input from First Nations communities, service providers, and people who access services.


Coordination is an opportunity

The making of a coordinated access system is a chance for First Nations, service providers, funders, community members, and people who access services to come together and build the relationships required to help people in need. It is also a unique chance to think about how to coordinate beyond the homelessness-serving sector.

Creating a Coordinated Access system is a unique opportunity to re-think how the community helps people in vulnerable situations, and find ways to work together and reach common goals.

For More Information


General questions related to Coordinated Access in the Cowichan Valley can be directed to


The Tze Tza Watul Cowichan CAB has partnered with HelpSeeker to facilitate the development of the Coordinated Access model to ensure Reaching Home requirements are met and the model is tailored to the needs of the community. For questions & comments related to Coordinated Access and community engagement, please contact:

Monique Fry
VP Indigenous Transformation & Diversity, HelpSeeker