Beginning the End of Homelessness in Canada

The mission of the CAEH is to end homelessness in Canada. To achieve our mission, we have prioritized chronic homelessness. This prioritization has allowed us to focus on those Canadians in the most urgent need across a broad range of populations (including youth, women, Indigenous Peoples, rough sleepers) and to achieve rapid success. This focus gives us the opportunity to build and test key strategies and help communities put in place critical systems (like By Name Lists and Coordinated Access Systems) which we will scale up to ultimately end homelessness for all Canadians.

The aim of the 20,000 Homes Campaign is to end chronic homelessness in 20 communities by July 2020.  Ending chronic homelessness means reaching “functional zero” chronic homelessness which is achieved when a community has three or fewer people experiencing chronic homelessness over three months – then they work to sustain functional zero, drive for the complete elimination of chronic homelessness and move on to ending homelessness for other groups, ultimately ending homelessness for all. 

For further information on functional zero, watch this four-minute video and refer to the 20KHomes Functional Zero Chronic Homelessness Question and Answer document.

Is It Really Possible To End Homelessness?

We know its possible.  Its already been done!  In the US, three communities have been confirmed as ending chronic homelessness and more are on the path to get there. 

In Canada a small but growing number of Canadian cities like Edmonton, Guelph, Hamilton, Medicine Hat, Red Deer and Waterloo Region have begun showing that with a focused effort homelessness can be reduced.

The American communities have been working with Community Solution’s Built for Zero initiative.  You can find out more about Built for Zero by reading their recently released “Getting to Proof Points: Key Learning from the First Three Years of the Built for Zero Initiative”.

You can also watch the following:

How Are We Going To Get There?

Our approach is focused on:

  • Helping communities adopt proven best practices, deploy existing resources more efficiently, and use real-time data, rapid cycle testing and human centered design to improve performance;
  • Implementing transparent data and performance management for real-time improvement;
  • Engaging leadership from the government, private and philanthropic sectors in securing new resources for communities and removing policy roadblocks; and,
  • Connecting communities to one another for innovation, knowledge capture and group problem solving.

Using the urgency of a campaign-style movement with a collaborative peer learning model we use a mix of in-person learning sessions with expert faculty and action cycles with in-person and virtual coaching to walk communities through a structured process to achieving and sustaining Functional Zero chronic homelessness.

For further detail, refer to the 20KHomes Collaborative Description.

To find out more about expectations of Campaign communities and what the Campaign will provide, download the 20,000 Homes Flyer and the Confirming Participation Survey.

Our Progress

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Be a part of the solution.

Help us end chronic homelessness in 20 communities and house 20,000 of Canada’s most vulnerable homeless people.


A Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness Website

©20K Homes 2019