In this report we tackle the critical issue of Duty to Assist – a human rights approach to youth homelessness prevention. A Duty to Assist means there is a statutory obligation, or a legal duty, requiring local authorities make reasonable efforts to end the person’s homelessness or stabilize their housing. Adapting legislation and practice originating from Wales, this report outlines an innovative and potentially impactful way in which Duty to Assist can be used to move us closer to preventing and ending youth homelessness. This report outlines policy and practice elements of Duty to Assist, detailing how Duty to Assist can operate at a community level. It also outlines what first steps need to be taken to successfully adapt this model in Canada. Duty to Assist is what the future of youth homelessness prevention looks like.
This report is one of a six-part series on youth homelessness prevention, drawing from The Roadmap for the Prevention of Youth Homelessness. The Roadmap is designed to support a paradigm shift to prevention by providing a clear definition of youth homelessness prevention, offering a framework and common language for prevention policy and practice, reviewing the evidence for prevention, and highlighting practice examples from around the world. Each report in the series explores one element of youth homelessness prevention, providing a framework for targeted action and change in that area.