Toronto Centre of Excellence on Youth Homelessness Prevention

Toronto Centre of Excellence on Youth Homelessness Prevention at York University logo

The Toronto Centre of Excellence (TCE) on Youth Homelessness Prevention at York University is a Geneva UN Charter Centre that functions as an ‘international megaphone’ for mobilizing and adapting Canadian and international innovations, leadership, and knowledge on youth homelessness prevention and sustainable exits from homelessness.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has established a network of several “Charter Centres of Excellence” to exchange research, knowledge, experience and best practices in support of the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The TCE was established in 2021 and is a partnership between the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, A Way Home Canada, and our Making the Shift Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab. This designation enhances opportunities for international partnership and collaboration on research, knowledge mobilization, advocacy and training activities focused on the prevention of youth homelessness and sustainable housing.

Priority Area One

  • Work with the UNECE’s Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management to promote the principles of the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Liaise and cooperate with international, national and local stakeholders working on related topics
  • Develop and launch pilot projects to support the implementation of the Charter (advisory services to support preparation of laws and regulations, etc.)
  • Organize and host international, national, and subnational meetings (symposiums, workshops, training programs and seminars) on policies and practices related to homelessness and to disseminate information about the Charter and UNECE

Priority Area Two

  • Constructively engage researchers and leaders in the area of homelessness and prevention in the UNECE region for the purposes of collaboration
  • Form and nurture strategic partnerships across UNECE Member States in order to get prevention and youth homelessness on the policy agendas within the 56 Member States
  • Operationalize the Toronto Centre as a true partnership between networks of researcher and end users such as practitioners, service providers and policy makers
  • Establish a network of individuals and organizations working/interested in the areas of youth homelessness and prevention across all UNECE Member States
  • Offer a platform for exchange of knowledge and resources and connecting with international peers/colleagues for the purpose of movement building

Priority Area Three

  • Co-create an international research agenda focusing on youth homelessness and prevention in order to increase our knowledge base and provide a foundation for change
  • Provide support to research on homelessness and the prevention of youth homelessness in the UNECE region and the potentials for the implementation of the Charter
  • Bring together various international partners in the space of youth homelessness research, policy and practice to find alignment and leverage the work of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, A Way Home Canada and the Making the Shift Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab
  • Draft values and principles for international collaboration and research on youth homelessness and prevention

Priority Area Four

  • Mobilize knowledge regarding effective prevention policies, practices and interventions
  • Leverage high impact partnerships that foster systems transformation, ensuring key research evidence is integrated into policy, programs and practice
  • Produce and disseminate print and digital materials on sustainable housing and the prevention of youth homelessness, including brochures, websites, mobile applications and multi-media
  • Plan and implement a pan-UNECE government relations strategy to get youth homelessness on the agenda
  • Plan and implement a service provider and practitioner relations strategy to focus on youth homelessness prevention
  • Facilitate information sharing on available research resources and publications which could provide policy advice on policies related to homelessness at national, subnational and municipal level
  • Leverage existing infrastructure and platforms to coordinate and implement a communications strategy for the Centre of Excellence to amplify learnings and products out to the broader international community and various sectors

Priority Area Five

  • Provide enhanced education, training and technical assistance to engage key partners to implement policy and practice to facilitate systems transformation
  • Leverage and align/coordinate existing modules and trainings and identify gaps to be filled
  • Establish a collaborative TTA agenda for the Toronto Centre of Excellence
  • Explore opportunities for online certification/accreditation in various subject areas
  • Provide Change Management training and resources for shifting mindsets at both the service and sector levels toward homelessness prevention and youth-centred interventions
  • Develop new TTA opportunities as funds allow

News & Updates about the TCE

Interested in Training, Partnership or Collaboration?

We are always interested in exploring the potential for new connections and ways to amplify the work to prevent and end youth homelessness in Canada and abroad. Please contact Amanda Buchnea, Manager of the TCE at abuchnea@yorku.ca

More trainings are available on the Homelessness Learning Hub.

Logo including: UN Geneva Charter of Excellence, Youth Homelessness Prevention York University, UNECE.