The COVID-19 crisis is disproportionately affecting people that are precariously housed, homeless, and/or lack access to hygiene and space for physical distancing. For young people, access to stable housing and supports to cope during and after the crisis are essential. Meeting basic needs, navigating the housing and income support systems, staying connected to education/training, and receiving mental health supports are ongoing priorities for youth that are made all the more vital and difficult during this national state of emergency in Canada.
To ensure that the immediate response of governments and communities takes into consideration the unique needs of young people, A Way Home Canada and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness conducted a survey for youth-serving organizations addressing the needs of youth at-risk of or experiencing homelessness. The purpose of the survey was to identify some of the emerging challenges and needs facing the sector, as well as positive steps being taken to ensure young people are able to receive the housing and support they need.
This report provides a summary of the survey results and marks one of the first of many actions these organizations have taken to understand the needs of the youth-serving sector in order to provide a coordinated and timely response to the ongoing and evolving crisis of COVID-19.
We have conducted a second round of our survey on COVID-19 and its impact on the youth homelessness sector. Access the follow-up report here.