PROJECTS

Research Projects Supported
by Making the Shift

Both funded research projects and demonstration projects showcase the power of collaboration between researchers and practitioners in identifying innovative, impactful, and comprehensive solutions to youth homelessness.

Active Projects
Listed Alphabetically

A National Study of Tertiary Prevention Models for Youth Exiting Homelessness

Project description
This project uses a multiple case study design, systematic reviews, and a rigorous knowledge exchange strategy to articulate the service models of the most promising housing stabilization approaches and to build capacity in the sector.

Impact
The project aims to generate more effective services for youth exiting homelessness and inform system and policy leaders about evidence-driven approaches to stabilizing post-homelessness trajectories across diverse Canadian contexts.

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Ai’aoskiikowaata (Providing Guidance to Youth): Supporting Healthy Transitions from Government Care to Independent Living

Project description
This research employs two studies to investigate youth’s experiences of transitioning out of government care in three southern Alberta locations. The first study gathers young adults’ first-hand knowledge of exiting care through a multi-media storytelling project. The second surveys Indigenous and non-Indigenous young adults on their care experiences, exposure to traditional culture, and current life outcomes.

Impact
The project can inform legislators and knowledge users about the protective factors associated with culturally-appropriate resources; prevention and support strategies for Indigenous youth; service and programming gaps; and the relationship between youths’ experiences in care and life quality as measured by housing status and the social determinants of health.

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Endaayaang, an Indigenous Adaptation of Housing First for Youth

Project description
This project synthesizes current literature on Indigenous youth homelessness services and evaluates the Endaayaang program, an Indigenous adaptation of HF4Y. It will create a culturally-based Indigenous housing model and evaluation framework.

Impact
The project contributes to understanding of Indigenous youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Canada and will create a culturally-based Indigenous housing model and evaluation framework.

Establishing and Mitigating Youth Housing Stability in Response to COVID-19: Engaging with the BC Interior

Project description
This research reviews youth homelessness services in the lead up to and during COVID-19, as well as the subjective experiences of youth at risk of homelessness during this time.

Impact
The project will inform planning for the recovery period following COVID-19 and planning for future public health emergencies.

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Evaluating Family and Natural Supports

Project description
This project aims to understand how chosen supports, improved self-esteem, and increasing communication can minimize a youth’s involvement with the shelter system using an outcomes evaluation. Due to the systemic and personal changes occurring from the COVID-19 pandemic, the research team has modified their research to capture how the pandemic has impacted youth and their relationships.

Impact
The findings from this project will help frontline and management staff improve the delivery, structure, and practice of the programs, in addition to meeting the needs of youth who have been impacted negatively by COVID-19.

Evaluating Youth Reconnect

Project description
This project aims to understand how chosen supports, improved self-esteem, and increasing communication can minimize a youth’s involvement with the shelter system using an outcomes evaluation. Due to the systemic and personal changes occurring from the COVID-19 pandemic, the research team has modified their research to capture how the pandemic has impacted youth and their relationships.

Impact
The findings from this project will help frontline and management staff improve the delivery, structure, and practice of the programs, in addition to meeting the needs of youth who have been impacted negatively by COVID-19.

Examining the Effectiveness of an Integrated Housing, Mental Health, and Addiction Service Model for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Project description
This research tests the effectiveness of an integrated intervention tailored to better meet the housing, mental health, and addiction service needs of youth experiencing homelessness and concurrent disorders using an outcome and process evaluation.

Impact
The project addresses a significant knowledge gap concerning solutions to better meet the needs of youth experiencing homelessness.

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First Nations Interventions

Project description
This project explores how First Nations youth at risk of or with lived experience of homelessness are affected by and negotiating the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, it will ask how schools, organizations, and communities continue to provide land-based learning and cultural programming to First Nations youth during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Impact
The project will document these experiences and provide strategies and recommendations for First Nations youth that can be used during the recovery period.

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Free 2 Be: Housing First for Youth Leaving Care

Project description
This project uses a randomized controlled trial design to test and evaluate (process and outcomes) the effectiveness of Housing First for Youth as a preventive intervention for young people (ages 17-24) who are transitioning or have already transitioned out of the child welfare system.

Impact
The project will yield policy and program relevant evidence about what service interventions achieve the best results for this particular population of young people known to be at high risk of experiencing homelessness.

Housing First for Youth Ottawa

Project description
This project uses a Randomized Controlled Trial design to test and evaluate (process and outcomes) the effectiveness of applying the Housing First for Youth approach to support young people (ages 17-24) experiencing homelessness without complex needs to exit homelessness and promote improved social and health outcomes.

Impact
The project will yield policy and program relevant evidence about what service interventions achieve the best results for this particular population of young people experiencing homelessness.

On the Move: A Mixed Methods Study of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Homelessness and Migration in Northeastern Ontario

Project description
This project generates new knowledge about appropriate strategies for detecting risk, intervening early, and supporting sustainable exits from homelessness amongst Indigenous and non-Indigenous (Francophone and Anglophone) youth in urban, rural, and remote communities of Northeastern Ontario (NEO).

Impact
The project will illuminate vulnerability and protective factors for various subgroups based on gender, sexual orientation, age, and migration/mobility.

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One House Many Nations: A Community First Approach to Address Homelessness Amongst First Nation Youth

Project description
Youth living on-reserve with lived experience or who are at risk of homelessness join a team that designs and builds a new home in their community. The research will characterize the nature and causes of homelessness amongst First Nation youth; assess the impacts of this Indigenous community-led approach to homelessness on the housing trajectories of First Nation youth living on-reserve; and support adaptation and mobilization of this approach in other First Nations.

Impact
This Indigenous-led, culturally-grounded, and community-first collaboration will build both community capacity and the capacity of individual First Nation youth who participate in the project.

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Opportunities for Innovation: Indigenous Youth Coping With Homelessness During the Covid-19 Pandemic in the Kenora Region

Project description
This research project centres Indigenous youth voices in describing unique challenges and coping in the Kenora region of Northwestern Ontario regarding homelessness amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It specifically analyzes health and well-being impacts related to service delivery modifications and/or disruptions as a result of a pandemic.

Impact
The project will document these experiences and provide specific strategies for Indigenous youth in the Kenora region to use during the recovery period.

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Preventing Discharge to No Fixed Address – Youth

Project description
Building upon several successful initiatives with adults, this project will make housing and financial resources more accessible to youth admitted to inpatient wards at London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London – Parkwood Institute Mental Health.

Impact
The project will contribute to the understanding of youth’s risks of homelessness, their unique challenges, and how factors such as quality of life and health and social service use correlate to housing stability.

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Responding to Youth Homelessness in the Midst of a Pandemic: Shifting to Collaborative, Prevention-based Services in a Large Urban Setting

Amanda Noble, University of Toronto and Covenant House

Project description
This project seeks to understand the impact of COVID-19 on youth experiencing homelessness in Toronto’s downtown shelter system, including among youth that moved to a hotel and those that remained in shelter.

Impact
Recommendations to permanently shift towards a prevention-based response will be developed.

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The Impacts Of COVID-19 On LGBTQ2S Youth At-Risk Of, And Experiencing, Homelessness

Project description
This study engages a group of LGBTQ2S youth at-risk of and experiencing homelessness to understand their specific challenges, coping strategies, and mental health responses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Impact
Evidence-based recommendations will be produced for the development and improvement of programs and targeted responses aimed at preventing and addressing LGBTQ2S youth homelessness during the pandemic.

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The Upstream Project Canada: A Collective Impact Approach to Scaling Youth Homelessness Prevention

Project description
This research seeks to understand how the Upstream Project, an innovative approach to addressing youth homelessness and school disengagement, can be sustainably scaled.

Impact
Better understanding of what conditions impede and facilitate the social innovation process will inform systems change towards more equitable opportunities and outcomes for youth at risk of homelessness.

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Understanding Young Women’s Experiences of Loneliness and Isolation During Covid-19 and Beyond: Participatory Research to Envision a Way Forward

Project description
This research explores how loneliness and isolation that occurs before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic impacts young women-identifying people’s housing stabilization.

Impact
The project will inform planning for the recovery period following COVID-19 and planning for future public health emergencies.

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Youth Transition from Child Welfare to Precarious Living Conditions: A Mixed Methods Longitudinal Study of Risk and Protective Factors in Nova Scotia

Project description
This study follows a large cohort of young people through the transition from Child Welfare Services in Nova Scotia to identify the psychological, institutional, social, educational, and political/policy aspects of young people’s lives that put them at risk of homelessness and those that enhance their resilience, including housing stability and engagement in school or work.

Impact
The project will uncover effective strategies that prevent youth aging out of care from becoming precariously housed or homelessness and will serve as a pilot that other provinces and territories can replicate.

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