Background and Objectives

Researchers, service providers, advocates, and policymakers in the homelessness sector need access to timely, accurate, and comprehensive data to identify barriers and opportunities to enhance services and improve policies that contribute to homelessness prevention. 

To its credit, the homelessness sector in Canada has taken important steps to improve its capacity to collect, store, and access data. However, there is much more that needs to be done to:  

  1. Expand and enhance data infrastructure to harmonize and integrate data systems and platforms. 
  2. Identify and test analytical methods to improve evidence-based decision-making. 
  3. Explore the role of new technologies to predict and prevent homelessness from occurring. 

To address these gaps in research and to create a space for exploration and innovation, Making the Shift (MtS) is soliciting proposals from researchers and community organizations (who are able to hold tri-council funding) for one-time grants that respond to one of the following funding streams:  

  1. Developing a data infrastructure roadmap to support policy, operational, and research decision-making   
  2. Exploring opportunities to use data, technology, infrastructure, and new methods of data analysis to better understand and prevent youth homelessness   

The purpose of this call for proposals is to develop exceptional projects that address gaps specific to the MtS research agenda focusing on the prevention of youth homelessness and to complement the scope of the existing MtS-funded projects. Successful proposals should be designed to begin as soon as possible after notification of award. Submissions may be entered by an individual or a team. Priority will be given to projects that have strong partnerships and include people with lived experience of youth homelessness. Matching funds in the form of cash or in-kind contributions are encouraged.  

Important note: For further information on eligibility, application guidelines and any specific requirements (if applicable) under each funding stream please refer to the application guide.

Scope and Funding Streams

STREAM A
Developing a data infrastructure roadmap to support policy, research, and operational decision-making

Data infrastructure in the homelessness sector in Canada has not been designed to support a focus on prevention. Instead, legacy technology systems, methods of data collection, and datasets lacking harmonization have tended to support, and thus reproduce, reactive approaches to youth homelessness policy and service decision-making.

This stream will fund one project comprised of a team of researchers, community organizations, and practitioners focused on co-creating a data and knowledge infrastructure roadmap for the homelessness sector that is based on the needs and objectives of stakeholders, including researchers, service providers, advocates, young people, and policymakers. The process – –research, convening, engagement of stakeholders, and facilitated deliberation –– used to develop the roadmap should be co-creative, ensuring participation from communities that have historically been overrepresented within the youth homelessness population, including Indigenous, Racialized, and 2SLGBTQ+ peoples. Applicants are encouraged to form collaborative teams that include partners from diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, and areas of expertise.

Duration of funding: up to 3 years
Amount: up to $500,000

STREAM B
Exploring opportunities to use data, technology, infrastructure, and new methods of data analysis to better understand and prevent youth homelessness

This stream targets projects that investigate, map, and explore the role and use of technology, data, infrastructure, and/or methods of data analysis to prototype novel solutions focused on youth homelessness prevention.

Applicants can choose from one of two types of grants:

One-year projects

  • Duration of funding: up to one-year.
  • Grant amount: Up to $50,000

Multi-year projects

  • Duration of funding: up to three years
  • Grant Amount: $50,000 – $200,000

How to Apply

Step 1: Download the Application Guide to determine if your proposal is eligible to receive funds and learn more about the submission process 

Step 2: Prepare your application and complete the Making the Shift Budget Template.  

Step 3: Register and submit your application using the Making the Shift Submission Portal.

Applications are due by December 7, 2020 by 4 p.m EST

Do you have questions? Contact the Making the Shift funding team at, mtsfunding@yorku.ca, for questions regarding your proposal or the submission process.