A Data Roadmap for Preventing
Youth Homelessness

About forty percent of individuals in Canada who face homelessness say that their first experience happened before age 16. They are stuck early in a pattern of repeated homelessness that could be avoidable by ‘making the shift’ from current crisis-oriented responses to one emphasising prevention. To better support youth and prevent homelessness, we are designing a plan to build and use information across Canada. We are connecting governments, community organizations, and researchers to information. This information can help create better policies and research. And most importantly, it can help reduce homelessness. We are leading activities in partnership with Dr. Yale Belanger and Making the Shift. Learning from previous practices, we are co-designing the plan with stakeholders across the homelessness sector. Youth with lived experiences of homelessness, Indigenous communities, and front-line organizations are central to our process. Together, we are making the shift to prevent youth homelessness in Canada.

Project Team

Matthew Russell, Sakiko Yamaguchi, Shiva Zarezadeh Kheibari, Fatima Mustafa, and Mardi Daley

Investigator Team

Yale Belanger (University of Lethbridge; Primary Investigator), Liana Urichuk (PolicyWise for Children & Families), Janice Victor (University of Lethbridge), and Naomi Nichols (Trent University).

Project Resources:

Supplement 1: Canadian Data Infrastructure Scan – A scan of the state of existing Canadian administrative data*.

Supplement 2: Making the Shift Project Interviews – An analysis of interviews with current Making the Shift project team members.

Supplement 3: Administrative Data Promising Practices – A literature review on promising practices for administrative data.*

Supplement 4: Community Service Provider Interviews – An analysis of interviews with community service providers serving youth facing homelessness.

Supplement 5: Youth Focus Groups – An analysis of focus groups with youth with lived experience of homelessness.

Supplement 6: Canadian Policy Scan – A scan of recent Canadian policies and how they relate to project findings. 

*Administrative data is information collected by organizations for their operations. It can be linked to other information to help predict and prevent homelessness.

Related Resources:

Introduction to our project – Our partner, Making the Shift, sat down with us to chat about our project. 

Project overview and findings – We held a video webinar with support of our partner, Making the Shift, to discuss our project approach, where we are at, and what we have found so far.