Making the Shift Youth Homelessness Prevention Awards 2021

Sponsored by

Founding and Presenting Donor

Our applications for 2021 closed on June 30th. We will announce winners in September!


The new Making the Shift Youth Homelessness Prevention Awards program is part of a broader suite of activities co-led by A Way Home Canada and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness to transform our response to youth homelessness. Awards programs can be useful in a number of ways, including celebrating and showcasing the important work happening to prevent youth homelessness. They can also act as mechanisms to unearth innovation. The MtS Youth Homelessness Prevention Awards program’s objectives are to:

  • Further disseminate the definition of prevention developed for the Roadmap for the Prevention of Youth Homelessness
  • Showcase promising prevention programs and practices through the development of case studies, webinars, and other products
  • Identify promising prevention programs and practices to be prioritized for research, evaluation, and/or demonstration projects
  • Map the barriers to developing prevention programs and interventions

What is Youth Homelessness Prevention?

Homelessness prevention refers to policies, practices, and interventions that reduce the likelihood that someone will experience homelessness. It also means providing those who have been homeless with the necessary resources and supports to stabilize their housing, enhance integration and social inclusion, and ultimately reduce the risk of the recurrence of homelessness.

The COH and A Way Home Canada developed the “Roadmap for the Prevention of Youth Homelessness” to not only define prevention, but also to showcase examples of prevention in action across a number of domains in both Canada and around the world. The “Roadmap” is critical, as it also points to who is responsible for what in our collective efforts to prevent youth homelessness. For the purposes of the award, we will use the Roadmap to define the parameters of prevention.

Roadmap for the Prevention of Youth Homelessness

About the Awards

With support from the Canada Life Assurance Co., we are pleased to offer two official awards, along with possible honorary mentions, to Canadian organizations and collaborations. Winners will be celebrated in the following ways:

  • Winners will be showcased in a public webinar hosted by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and A Way Home Canada.
  • Winners will be invited to share their work in conference presentations as opportunities arise.
  • Winners will be invited to join the National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness, if they are not already members.
  • Winners will receive a mini case study of their initiative, produced by research and communications staff at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. The case studies will be published in the Homeless Hub newsletter, with a national and international reach of more than 18,000 subscribers.
  • Winners will be showcased in an updated edition of the Roadmap for the Prevention of Youth Homelessness.
  • Winners may be eligible to receive professional evaluation and public policy support for their initiatives, depending on the context and identified needs/opportunities.

Priority will be placed on programs or initiatives that are:

  • proactive, rather than reactive, approaches to youth homelessness, from a preventative and rights-based lens
  • demonstrating significant impacts in the lives of vulnerable youth aged 13-24 years old
  • delivering programs or services aimed at preventing youth homelessness that align with one or more elements of prevention from the Roadmap for the Prevention of Youth Homelessness

Organizations may self-nominate their own program or initiative, or nominate another organization or initiative.


  1. Program or approach within an Organization – This award recognizes the philosophy and practice embedded in the prevention initiatives within your organization or within a chapter of your organization
  2. Collaboration (community based) (cross-systems or multi-stakeholder) – This award is designed to showcase the strength of partnerships or coalitions that accelerate approaches to youth homelessness prevention.

Who is eligible to apply or to be nominated?

  • Submissions that can demonstrate preventative activity(ies) aiming to stabilize housing, improve health and wellbeing, promote social inclusion, and contribute to better long-term outcomes for youth and their families. Please refer to the Definition of Prevention.
  • Submissions that demonstrate working with youth between 13 and 24 years of age.

Nomination/Application Deadline:

We invite you to submit your application online by no later than 5:00PM ET on June 30, 2021. Submission form opens on April 23, 2021.