9.1 A Provincial Response to LGBTQ2S Youth Homelessness

Alberta is a western province in Canada with an estimated population of 4,268,929, as of October 1, 2015. It is Canada’s fourth most populous province and the most populous of Canada’s three prairie provinces. Alberta’s two largest municipalities, Edmonton and Calgary, make up just under half the province’s total population, with a combined population of 1,999,447. The Edmonton–Calgary corridor is the most urbanized region in the province, and one of the most urbanized regions in Canada, covering approximately 400 kilometers north to south. It is also one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. Alberta has experienced success in addressing homelessness through A Plan for Alberta: Ending Homelessness in 10 years (known as the 10-Year Plan). Since the plan’s inception in 2009, more than 13,458 Albertans experiencing homelessness have received housing and supports, and approximately 73% remain successfully housed, but we can do more. The 10-Year Plan states that Albertans from some specific groups, including youth experiencing homelessness, are dealing with particularly challenging issues, and require targeted responses to help them be rehoused. Supporting Healthy and Successful Transitions to Adulthood: A Plan to Prevent and Reduce Youth Homelessness (Youth Plan) aligns with the Housing First response, integrated service delivery and client-centered approaches from the 10-Year Plan. The Youth Plan represents the next step in the 10-Year Plan, and is a targeted response to a specific population.

Beginning in October 2014, Dr. Abramovich, the Government of Alberta and community partners worked on a report, A Focused Response to Prevent and End LGBTQ2S Youth Homelessness, which provided to the Government of Alberta six key recommendations developed over the course of 10 months with the support of the provincial LGBTQ2S working group. The recommendations align with and support the Youth Plan, and reflect the current needs of the youth-serving sector, including housing programs and shelters, across the province. 

Alex Abramovich
Jama Shelton
Publication Date: 
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness