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January 19 2021

Reaching Home COVID-19 Response funding available

Reaching Home, a program funded by the federal government to prevent and reduce homelessness across Canada, is offering an additional $1.6 million to Yukon organizations and governments who are ready to invest in a plan and submit a proposal by February 5th. Projects must be complete by May 14, 2021. Reaching Home funding is administered by the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition.

Homelessness is an issue that Yukon residents know well, as most have either experienced or witnessed precarious housing situations and even home-loss. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only increased the number of people experiencing precarious housing, it has meant loss of income for many. Housing is the first line of defense against COVID-19.

Being homeless is dangerous: a lack of access to handwashing facilities, a lack of sleep and poor nutrition make people vulnerable to virus infections of all kinds, including COVID-19. With a fear of proximity to strangers, there are fewer options and increased isolation for people who are temporarily housed or don’t have secure, safe housing.

The federal government recognizes this crisis and has responded by adding $1.6 million to Yukon’s Reaching Home allocation. This money is primarily intended to increase the housing stock for people needing added support to find or remain housed. Another priority is to prevent homelessness in the first place. The third priority is to provide health services, food, and personal protective equipment.

The Reaching Home team in Whitehorse is currently accepting applications for funding. Applications can come from a range of sources: Non-governmental Organisations, Indigenous Organisations and governments, public health and educational institutions, municipalities, territorial governments, and their agencies.

Natalie Taylor, Reaching Home Program Officer in Whitehorse, says: “this is a unique opportunity to buy housing, build housing and repair housing. The only condition is that there are support services in place to help vulnerable people stay securely housed,” adds Taylor. “The biggest challenge is time - applications are due by February 5 thand projects must be on track for completion by May 14th, 2021.

The administration team can provide support with the application process. Miasha Albisser, Reaching Home Program Officer, says: “We know that completing a lengthy application to federal standards is a challenge for organisations with stretched administrative capacity, so we are glad to offer some support. We invite all interested parties to contact us by email or phone with their questions.”

The application can be found here.


Contact Chantal at Reaching Home at (867) 689-5456 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)