Reaching Home

A home for every Canadian

Homelessness is one of the most devastating obstacles that an individual can face. The idea of not having a safe place to sleep every night, a roof over your head or a shelter from the unbearable heat and frigid nights that our communities face is something that most of us don’t ever have to think about.

But for more than 129,000 Canadians, that is a daily reality.

Reaching Home is an Economic and Social Development Canada program that aims to prevent homelessness and reduce chronic homelessness by 50% by 2028. As the Community Entity for Reaching Home Rural and Remote, United Way Simcoe Muskoka enables programs and organizations across Ontario to make this goal possible.

Operating in three streams – Rural & Remote, Indigenous and Designated Communities – Reaching Home is one of the keys to providing housing and supports for those experiencing homelessness or living rough.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, UWSM funded more Reaching Home programs than ever before, reviewing and approving more than $5 million in homelessness prevention and reduction initiatives.

Reaching Home funding streams:

Designated Communities

Rural & Remote

Indigenous Homelessness

Designated Communities

The Designated Communities stream addresses homelessness in more than 60 distinct areas across Canada. These communities are larger in size (typically with populations of 25,000+) and demonstrate the need for long-term, sustainable housing.

Rural & Remote

The Rural and Remote stream of Reaching Home tackles homelessness in communities that fall outside of the Designated stream. As the Community Entity for this funding stream in Ontario, United Way Simcoe Muskoka is responsible for reviewing and making decisions on Rural and Remote projects in the province.

Indigenous Homelessness

By focusing on First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples experiencing homelessness in urban areas, the Indigenous Homelessness stream promotes social inclusion, cultural connections and culturally appropriate services. Those who receive assistance through Indigenous Homelessness programs are not restricted from programs funded through other funding streams.

Our 2020-2021 Impact


Programs funded, including…


COVID-specific projects

“We were able to assist a client with housing who has been waiting for an offer from the Social Housing Division in Cornwall since September 2020. The client has been couch surfing with different friends since leaving her abusive relationship. The client was able to secure market rent housing and we were able to assist her in applying for the Canadian Ontario Housing Benefit which would provide her with subsidy and worked with the city to get the client’s last month’s rent paid.” – Elizabeth Fry Society Ottawa


People were provided housing


Indigenous peoples supported

“We had taken on a resident in Transitional Housing that was wrongly evicted. He was an elderly gentlemen, and his stay with us was to be shorter as the eviction was being appealed to the Tribunal. As it turned out, he was with us for over two years as the landlord appealed and has refused to abide by the tribunal’s ruling which was in the client’s favour. We have been able to arrange for accommodation in a supportive housing facility better aligned with his health and care needs.” – The Inn of Good Shepherd


People with disabilities supported


Youth supported