Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey 2019

Sponsored by The Home Depot Canada Foundation, the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness in partnership with A Way Home Canada are conducting the second iteration of Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. First held in 2015, the study was the first and largest of its kind in Canada, with over 1,100 youth participants. Without a Home (2016) provided robust data on the causes and conditions of youths’ experiences of homelessness. Three policy briefs were developed in 2017, based on the findings of Without a Home, with the aim to help inform federal, provincial, and municipal policy, which included: Mental Health Care for Homeless Youth, Child Welfare and Youth Homelessness in Canada, and Opportunity Knocks: Prioritizing Canada’s Most Vulnerable Youth. 

The 2016 report established baseline data on youth homelessness in Canada. With the aim of surveying 2,000 youth, the 2019 Without a Home study will provide an unprecedented dataset on youth experiences of homelessness. The study is designed to better understand systems and structural drivers of youth homelessness, as well as to tailor policy towards preventative solutions to youth homelessness.

Youth experts with lived experience are an integral part of the survey design process, working with the researchers on ensuring the survey speaks to the issues young people find most pressing, and want policy makers to know.

This year's survey launch date is January 14th, 2019!

Why is the study focused on youth?

The causes and conditions of youth homelessness are unique. For instance, youth experiences of homelessness differ from adults as they:

  • Have little experience living independently;
  • lack of work experience and education, making it difficult to earn an income;
  • are undergoing developmental changes;
  • are vulnerable to criminal exploitation and trafficking.

For this reason, Without a Home focuses on youth to better understand a young person’s pathway into homelessness. This way, we can prevent today’s youth from becoming adults experiencing chronic homelessness tomorrow.

How will the study impact my organization and/or community?

Community-level data will help you:

  • Better understand your clients’ needs;
  • support staff and professional development
  • enhance program planning and development
  • inform systems planning and implementation
  • support your local advocacy for policy and funding at the provincial and/or federal level, and;
  • public education to breakdown stigma around youth homelessness.

What are the benefits for youth?

  • By participating, youth will have an opportunity to have their experiences mobilized to influence policy and systems change.
  • Every young person who participates will receive a cash honoraria for their time and contribution.

If your agency or organization provides services to youth age 13-24 experiencing homelessness and operates in Canada, you are eligible to participate.

Once agencies complete the survey registration form, we will host a follow up webinar detailing instructions for administering the survey.

Listen to our National Youth Survey Podcast Series

In the Canadian Observatory and A Way Home Canada's first podcast, Amanda Buchnea and David French discuss the impact of the 2016 Without a Home report and how the national survey results can be used as an educational and advocacy tool both outside and within governments.

Watch our National Youth Survey Webinar

This webinar will prepare agencies participating in the Without a Home 2019 survey for the launch in January.

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