Making the Shift is pleased to announce nine new research projects have been funded to expand the evidence base of youth homelessness prevention in Canada and align with the intersecting themes of the MtS research agenda.

Congratulations to this cohort of successful applicants. Additional research investments will be announced in the coming months.

1) Making the Shift Youth Homelessness Shelter Diversion Study

Katrina Milaney, University of Calgary

Calgary, Alberta

This longitudinal, multi-site research project, aims to assess key aspects of shelter diversion programs in five Canadian communities (Calgary, Niagara, Guelph, Cambridge, Peterborough). This is the first study of its kind in Canada to explore different approaches to shelter diversion, an essential prevention strategy.

The project seeks to generate real-world strategies for changes to organizational policies and practices for shelters and other service providers; and develop an evidence-based service model for shelter diversion.

2) Co-Creating a Data and Knowledge Roadmap to Support Youth Homelessness Research, Operations, and Policy in Canada

Yale Belanger, University of Lethbridge

Lethbridge, Alberta

This research project seeks to co-create a roadmap for data and knowledge infrastructure to support youth homelessness research, operations, and policy with a diverse and experienced team of stakeholders.

The roadmap aims to improve data and research collaboration in the sector, by enabling timely access to data insights and facilitate improved operations for coordinated service delivery and research collaboration.

3) Preventing Youth Homelessness: A Life Journey Approach using Linked Multi-sector Administrative Data and Community Engagement

Jino Distasio, University of Winnipeg

Winnipeg, Manitoba

This research project aims to use existing surveys and administrative data from various sectors to examine risk and protective factors linked to youth homelessness in Manitoba.

The project seeks to develop a methodology that examines the intergenerational impact of homelessness, as well as uncover insights related to youth homelessness life course trends.

4) Examining long term trajectories in the transition away from youth homelessness in four cities across Canada

Tyler Frederick, Ontario Tech University

Oshawa, ON

This project is a longitudinal, mixed-methods study and seeks to investigate the trajectories of youth who exit homelessness. The project will follow young people for 3 years, and explore the impact of quality of life, COVID-19, social supports, community integration, housing stability, and other key factors, on exiting homelessness. This multisite study takes place in Vancouver, BC, Toronto, ON, Montreal, QC and Halifax, NS.

The research project aims to gather information that will inform the design of policies and interventions for successful and lasting exits from homelessness.

5) Exploring Frameworks and Processes for Tracking and Monitoring Service and Housing Wait Times Relevant to the Prevention and Exit from Youth Homelessness​

Tyler Frederick, Ontario Tech University

Oshawa, Ontario

This research project seeks to analyze waitlists and wait times of social services to identify sectors requiring systems change and recognize patterns of systemic inequity, helping to improve systems integration – an important element of prevention.

The project aims to improve the sectors’ understanding of wait times relevant in the prevention of youth homelessness, as well as provide comparative insights that can be used for policy, advocacy, research, and service delivery to enhance systems integration and coordination.

6) Youth Homelessness Data Infrastructure (YHDI)

Martin Goyette, École nationale d’administration publique

Québec City, Québec

This project aims to build the first Youth Homelessness Data Infrastructure (YHDI) in Québec, by compiling a sub-corpus partly based on the longitudinal study of the transition of a cohort of youth in care data, forming a comparative group of youth at risk of homelessness, and integrating clinical-administrative data regarding health, work and education.

The project seeks to generate new knowledge to support the prevention of homelessness among vulnerable youth in Québec through linking administrative data related to health, work and education.

7) Using Health and Community Data to Prevent Youth Homelessness​

Geoffrey Messier, University of Calgary

Calgary, Alberta

This research project will use a merged health and emergency shelter dataset for Calgary to develop data science tools to better support vulnerable youth that interact with these systems.

The project seeks to visualize system interactions and support predictive tools that can be used to identify at risk individuals.

8) Improving Frontend User Experiences by Mapping the Backend Architecture: A Cross-Sectoral Data and Infrastructure Audit

Naomi Nichols, Trent University

Peterborough, Ontario

This project aims to produce and mobilize descriptive and analytical knowledge, to support the youth homelessness sector in developing cross-sectoral, rights-based data interventions and infrastructure that prioritizes youth homelessness prevention.

The project aims to develop open-access data asset maps and data quality assessment reports for stakeholders to adapt for their prevention needs.

9) Post-Secondary Student Homelessness (PSSH) in Canada: Informing Prevention Through Qualitative Analysis

Eric Weissman, University of New Brunswick

Saint John, NB

This project will explore what housing supports look like from the perspective of youth with lived experience of homelessness in post-secondary environments, using a mixed method qualitative design. The project also seeks to determine the role administrators may play in preventing PSSH.

The study aims to amplify the influence of students in the design of housing and supports, as well as provide tailored feedback for participating sites outlining solutions and recommendations to prevent PSSH.