3.3 Strengths-based outreach & advocacy for non-service-connected youth experiencing homelessness

Much of what is known about youth who are homeless is obtained from those engaged through service programs, such as drop-in centres or shelters. This means that much less is known about youth experiencing homelessness who are not engaged in services as they are excluded from most studies. This is a significant concern because some reports indicate that youth who are not connected to services represent the majority of youth who are homeless: less than 10% access community resources meant to serve them (Kelly & Caputo, 2007). Furthermore, service-disconnected youth are different from those who already access services; they have more unmet needs and more severe substance use and mental health problems (Kryda & Compton, 2009). Efforts to connect youth to services are essential to prevent a range of public health consequences associated with homelessness, including premature death. 

Sean Kidd, Natasha Slesnick, Tyler Frederick, Jeff Karabanow, Stephen Gaetz
Publication Date: 
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press