Online Learning Events
OLE Pathway: Leadership

COVID-19 x CAA: Implications for Policy & Practice for Homeless Serving Systems

Communities across Canada are struggling to respond to the increasing visibility and velocity of complex social challenges accelerated by COVID-19. The pandemic’s social impacts on mental health and income security have compounded with the ongoing drug and homelessness crises, and convoluted health and social response systems. This has  highlighted the need for new ways of approaching these issues through a systems lens. What have been the learnings from COVID related to Coordinated Access and Assessment in particular? This session will provide a practical overview of the national landscape to ground emerging promising approaches and learnings from diverse communities with a specific focus on Nanaimo and Abbotsford’s experiences. Rather than a silver bullet, the focus will be on untangling the current complexity involved in CAA approaches to COVID and ongoing social challenges into actionable, systems responses that balance diverse community needs.



June 4, 2020


12:00 pm - 1:30 pm



Member Cost:


Who should attend

Policy makers, funders, senior leadership in frontline homeless-serving system

What you will learn

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Contextualize CAA nationally
  • Discuss challenges posed to CAA by COVID
  • Outline examples of adaptation of CAA practice nationally
  • Discuss possible local BC examples of CAA during COVID in Abbotsford and Nanaimo
  • Outline possible implications longer term for CAA in COVID recovery


Dr. Alina Turner leads the HelpSeeker social enterprise and B-Corp, which focuses on the development and rollout of systems planning and integration solutions to enhance the impact of the social safety net. HelpSeeker partners with a variety of government, non-profit, and private organizations engaged in social impact and innovation work across Canada. To date, HelpSeeker is present in more than 200 communities across Canada.  Alina is recognized as a leading researcher and thinker on social issues and is a Fellow at The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary. She also serves on the Board of Directors of A Way Home Canada and the Alberta Rural Development Rural Advisory Board on housing and homelessness.

Dena Kae Beno is the Housing and Homelessness Coordinator for the City of Abbotsford.  Dena has worked in a variety of housing and homelessness roles and managed homelessness point in time counts, housing first interventions, and systems responses; and overseen affordable housing portfolios, including capital projects, policy development and the advisory committee facilitation. Dena brings a municipal lens to lend a practical eye to managing community tensions, jurisdictional and operational challenges involved in advancing innovative responses.