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Cowichan Coalition to Address Homelessness and Affordable Housing

The Coalition

During 2017-2018, six key organizations came together to build a response and collaboration around the issues of homelessness and affordable housing. This “HOME Team” includes Cowichan Housing Association, Social Planning Cowichan, Our Cowichan Health Network, Mental Health and Substance Use Collective Impact Team, Cowichan Division of Family Practice, and the United Way. In addition, the community developed a Community Plan to Address Homelessness led by the Duncan Community Advisory Board and United Way.

During the COVID pandemic, the Coalition evolved into a Task Force aimed at providing immediate support to those who were unhoused in our community.

In 2023, Cowichan Housing Association (CHA) held two community engagement sessions, at which there was broad based community support for a re-invigoration of the coalition. In the Fall of 2023, CHA created a Coalition Coordinator position to support the work of the re-invigoration.


The vision of the Coalition is for all citizens in the Cowichan Region to have a safe, affordable home and adequate supports for well-being.

  • To connect, coordinate, collaborate, and communicate around issues of homelessness and affordable housing needs in the Cowichan Valley Regional District and,

  • To promote, support, and facilitate the development of affordable housing

There are four functions of the coalition, each supported by a working group:

Why is the Coalition Important?

Complex social problems require us to move away from traditional, sometimes isolating, ways communities respond.  A coalition, founded in the principles of collective impact, brings a broad range of community representatives together to identify and make progress toward a shared vision.  


It is important for the Coalition to be Regional in scope to recognize that the issues and needs cross municipal, electoral, and health jurisdictions, and that these issues are not limited to urban areas

The coalition connects those involved in the work, coordinates, collaborates and communicates with all members to undertake work involved in four inter-related streams of work to further that vision.      


Together, we can realize greater impact. 

Key Goals

Using the Collective Impact Framework, the Cowichan Coalition will undertake 4 inter-related streams of work outlined below.

Homelessness Prevention and Response

  • Housing First

    • Safe, affordable housing for all, including those experiencing challenges with substance use and/or mental health

  • Youth Focused

    • Ensuring that supports and housing are in place for youth transitioning out of care​

    • Shelter for youth experiencing homelessness

  • Emergency Response

    • Establish Emergency and Extreme Weather Response locations in advance of need​

Affordable, Accessible, and Supportive Housing

  • Contribute to development and implementation of Regional Affordable Housing Strategy

  • Research and data to advocate for policy change, funding, and increase affordable housing stock​​

  • Housing Projects

    • Rent control to maintain affordable housing​

    • Support development of additional affordable housing stock

Communication and Education to End Stigma and Discrimination

  • Anti-stigma and anti-racism focused projects​​

  • Advocacy and calls to action

  • Community education and training

  • Communications strategy 

Collaboration and Leadership

  • Sustainable Funding

    • Partnerships with all levels of government, including Indigenous, and private sector housing providers

  • Coordinated Access and Collective Impact framework

  • Advocate for systems change

For more information on the work being done, contact the
Cowichan Coalition Coordinator at 250-252-4443
or send an email here.

Funding Provided by: UBCM Poverty Reduction Stream 2

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