The Prevention of Homelessness

While it is now emerging as a key policy priority across much of the developed world (particularly in the UK and Australia), homelessness prevention is still underdeveloped in Canada and the United States. Historically there have been no strategic or focused strategies by any orders of government in Canada, the focus on preventive approaches to homelessness is undoubtedly an area where an international exchange of conceptual frameworks, as well as practical interventions, may be of particular benefit.

A key challenge that has impeded progress on homelessness prevention is the lack of definitional clarity and shared language regarding what prevention entails. While people may “get” that prevention matters, they may not be clear on what homelessness prevention involves in terms of legislation, policy, program interventions, and who is actually responsible for addressing the problem. COH’s work in this priority area includes understanding how homelessness prevention is framed in a range of different policy contexts and understanding the heightened risk of key populations. We will also explore key preventive interventions, models of delivery and build an understanding of the various funding and program delivery options. Finally, we will work to understand the measures of ‘success’ with respect to homelessness prevention.