The Impact of COVID-19 on Youth Experiencing Homelessness: Shifting to a Collaborative, Prevention-Focused Response in a Large Urban Area

This research sought to understand how living in Toronto’s emergency shelter system during the pandemic has impacted youth experiencing homelessness, as well as investigate how the sector and municipality could reimagine its response to youth homelessness and begin to shift its response toward longer-term solutions.

There were four objectives of this research: 

  • To understand the impact of the pandemic on youth experiencing homelessness in Toronto in terms of their overall health, wellbeing, and their perception of available services 
  • To understand the impact of the pandemic on staff who serve youth experiencing homelessness in Toronto, in terms of their experiences of burnout, wellbeing, and workplace supports
  • To identify how the youth homelessness sector collaborated to address the crisis and identify recommendations to strengthen this collaboration in the future, both as a response to future pandemics and youth homelessness in general.
  • To identify key recommendations to prevent the experience of homelessness for youth and/or to facilitate sustained exits from homelessness in anticipation of future pandemics, as well as a general strategy to address youth homelessness.
Publication Date: 
Toronto, Ontario, Canada