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Making Zero Count – Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Development Resources Handbook


Burkholder-Harris, K., Mifsud, A., & Turner, A. (2019). Making Zero Count: Service Coordination Resources Handbook. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press.


A critical part of ending homelessness is the increased integration and coordination between various public systems and the homelessness sector. However, current funding and service models often do not adequately address the reality of people moving between these systems. Too often, people are discharged into homelessness from other systems – perpetuating the length of time that homelessness is experienced.

In our consultations with communities, it became clear that while many communities have made significant strides to integrate approaches across the homelessness-serving systems, it is difficult to implement systems integration at the case management level. Often there are no clear processes to follow, especially when it comes to working within a
cross-agency team.

Through these tools, we recognize that in order to end homelessness, public systems have to work together. Systems navigation is paramount for service users to be able to navigate housing and income supports. Ending homelessness means that no one falls through the cracks between different systems.

This resource is intended to provide a starting point for communities that want to develop Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with other public systems in order to address this challenge.

To prevent homelessness from occurring as people transfer from one system to another.
To strengthen discharge planning between public systems and the homelessness sector.

Target Audiences:
Systems Planning Organizations & Homelessness-System leaders.

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