Research impact is both a process and an outcome of relationship building, collaboration, and meaningful partnership. Making the Shift (MtS) will contribute to social innovation by ensuring that interaction processes between researchers, policy makers, community partners, and young people facing homelessness are nurtured and supported through active partnerships and engaged research practices.

The diverse partners within MtS bring a wide range of resources, capacities, and expertise across end-users in government, communities, and the non-profit sector. Partners include service providers in the homelessness sector and beyond, and national, regional, and local organizations whose work touches on youth homelessness, as well as policy makers, People with Lived Experience of Youth Homelessness, international partners, and the private sector. By including representation from organizations and governments in diverse sectors, MtS will strengthen and create efficiencies in the pathway from early identification of research ideas through the research process and into solutions.

Key Research Partners

Given the nature of youth homelessness as a complex, fusion policy issue, research in this area is by definition cross-disciplinary. The capacity to convene around integrated research projects is a tested strength of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, A Way Home Canada, and their leadership partnership. MtS brings together over 100 researchers, who are connected to a broad range of research centres and institutes. This includes not only the top researchers in Canada and internationally whose primary research focus is on youth homelessness, but also a broad range of researchers and institutes with allied interests that touch on youth homelessness.

End-Users and their Networks

MtS partners that represent the multiple sectors that oversee children and youth’s healthy development and impact their (potential) experience of homelessness shape the research’s progress along the CPPI Partners include service providers in the homelessness sector and beyond, and national, regional, and local organizations whose work touches on youth homelessness, as well as policy makers, People with Lived Experience of Youth Homelessness, international partners, and the private sector.

Partnerships

Policy Makers

Policy makers within government have a keen awareness of key policy questions, understand the role of research in policy making, and have knowledge of government priorities. Policy makers also are challenged by having nimble access to research and evidence that can further support the innovation they are trying to achieve. This awareness can further strengthen how research and evidence is captured and made available.

Service Providers

Understanding homelessness from ‘the front lines,’ service providers and their organization can identify and assess changing trends, service gaps and weaknesses, and have knowledge of the challenges that community-based organizations face in terms of funding, service delivery, and service sector engagement. AWHC will leverage its management of the National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness (LC), with representation from 30 leading homeless youth serving organizations across the country, to support this work.

National, Regional and Local Advocacy, Policy and Innovation Organizations

These high impact organizations have an ongoing and historical perspective on the issues that create and sustain homelessness and the political landscape in which change is expected to happen (note that these are generally not service provider organizations).  Apart from the COH, the founding members of the AWHC coalition are key ‘networks of networks’ through which we can put research to action.

People with Lived Experience of Youth Homelessness (PLEYH)

PLEYH have intimate knowledge of the experience of homelessness, the effectiveness of policy and interventions’, where there are gaps in our thinking and practice, and what approaches require review and change. MtS will leverage AWHC and the LC’s existing and future activities to meaningfully engage people with lived experience of youth homelessness, while providing training and mentorship opportunities to enhance their skills in the areas of civic engagement, self-empowerment, research and advocacy.

International Partners

Key to our agenda of change is ongoing engagement with our international partners regarding innovative approaches to the prevention of youth homelessness.  Our international partners include researchers (and institutions) as well as service providers, legal experts and advocacy organizations.

The A Way Home Canada Youth Homelessness Funders Table

AWHC’s Funders Table (co-developed by AWHC and the Catherine Donnelly Foundation) brings together key financial supporters of this work and will provide leadership at the national and community levels in advancing policy shifts and pursuing funding opportunities. Working with the table, MtS will align funding priorities, reporting outcomes, and granting streams with research emerging from MtS.