In the announcement of Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, Minister Duclos introduced a new federal requirement for the implementation of Coordinated Access Systems.
Effective March 1, 2019, the CASH system was replaced with the Coordinated Access and Assessment model used by BC Housing throughout the province for supportive housing and will also include rent supplements and Regional Housing First Program resources targeted at the homeless/homeless at-risk population.
What is a Coordinated Access system?
BC Housing, Capital Reginal District (CRD) and Island Health partnered to develop a Coordinated Access and Assessment (CAA) process for supportive and supported housing within the capital region. The aim is to create a streamlined application form and point of access to supportive housing, and to ensure clients are effectively matched with the supports and housing that can best support their social and/or health care needs in a timely and transparent manner.
The CAA Advisory Committee – comprised of representatives from BC Housing, Island Health, Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, CRD, Victoria Police Department, Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness, Pacifica Housing, Victoria Cool Aid Society, Our Place Society, PHS Community Service and other community partners will provide advice, feedback and support to the ongoing CAA process.
Regional Update: CAA Community Partner Update – December 7, 2020 PDF
What is included?
Quality coordinated access systems share several features, including a centralized database that collects and displays real-time data on clients and available housing and supports; clear access points of entry; common assessment; standardized protocols; and resources (for example, staff) focused on ensuring that people can connect with appropriate housing and housing supports in an efficient manner.
Key features of the updated 2019 CAA System:
- The CAA includes some existing supportive housing stock as well as new supportive housing that will be created over the coming years.
- Streamlined application form and point of access. To apply for supportive housing in Greater Victoria, please submit a BCH Supportive Housing Registry application form available at https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/housing-with-support/supportive-housing
- The CAA process is honouring CASH applications submitted prior to March 1st, 2019. Applicants who had applied to CASH since January 2018 do not have to reapply for supportive housing.
- There are two “streams” of buildings within the CAA spectrum of Supportive Housing. The BC Housing stream and the Island Health stream are tenanted differently. In all cases, individuals considered for supportive housing must have a demonstrated need for supportive housing and must meet site and program criteria.
BC Housing Supportive Housing
The CAA Advisory Committee has identified supportive housing focus groups/priority populations for BC Housing’s CAA supportive housing resources.
As vacancies become available, the CAA Placement Committee will make placement decisions to include the following “focus populations” where possible:
- Indigenous persons who are chronically homeless and experiencing street or shelter homelessness
- People experiencing long term street and shelter homeless – and currently street or shelter homeless
- persons aged 55 +, chronically homeless and currently experiencing street or shelter homelessness
To apply for supportive housing, please complete the BC Housing supportive housing registry application (SHR app) https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/housing-with-support/supportive-housing and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
- To update information on an existing supportive housing application or to provide new information, call BC Housing at 1-877-257-7756 or send an email including client’s name, and any new information to email@example.com.
In addition to the supportive housing application (above), BC Housing asks for an assessment. BC Housing’s preferred supportive housing assessment is the VAT (Vulnerability Assessment Tool). When a VAT is not available, please complete the Supportive Housing Alternate Assessment. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details and template.
Island Health Supportive Housing
Island Health will select clients for direct placement into Island Health-funded housing. These clients will be known to the health care system and be homeless/at-risk for homelessness and have clinical needs requiring health and medical housing supports.
Island Health Placement decisions will be made by Island Health MHSU Residential Access staff in collaboration with the housing provider. These decisions will consider prioritization criteria, system needs/pressures, and acuity of the building milieu at the time of placement. Placement decisions will consider new applicants to the system as well as placements that can promote flow of clients to lower levels of care and appropriate transfer requests. Supportive Housing included in CAA Process in the Capital Region.
MHSU Community Clinical Teams (eg ACT, VMHC, ICMT) may call 250-519-3595 or email MHSUResidentialAccessSI@viha.ca to access the referral forms and fax them back to 250-519-3481.
Supportive Housing included in CAA Process in the Capital Region
If you require urgent emotional support, including having thoughts of suicide and other mental health issues, please call Vancouver Island Crisis Line: 1-888-494-3888.
Youth (under 25 years of age) may access youthspace.ca for online emotional support.
For other resources, including shelter availability, visit bc211.ca