As part of the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (formerly the National Homelessness Initiative), the country was divided into 61 designated communities for administrative purposes. There are 61 designated communities across the country, ten in large municipal areas, and 51 in smaller and/or rural areas. Federal program funding flows to such communities through the Community Entity (CE) model where the community (usually an incorporated organization) is responsible for the administration of program funds. In some cases the community entities were local governments (Toronto), in other cases, other models were used (Calgary Homeless Foundation). The community entities were to be supported in their work by CABs (community advisory bodies).
In order to support its objectives community entities were required to engage in the development of a community plan, created in consultation with service providers, other levels of government, the not-for-profit sector and other stakeholders. The plans were designed so that communities could identify priorities for reducing and alleviating homelessness through action plans, priority setting and gap analysis.
The planning process framed by the HPS “Community Plans’ is used by many communities to identify their strategic priorities. Many other communities develop planning processes independent of this and simply use the HPS Community Planning merely as a reporting mechanism to their funder (HPS). Designated communities have to demonstrate in their plan that other partners will provide a matching contribution. It is important to note that in many communities, federal dollars make up a small portion of the total investment in the response to homelessness. Plans were reviewed by HPS to ensure projects were eligible for funding by NHI, and once approved, funds were released.