Part 1: Program Model Guide

Housing First for Youth (HF4Y) is an adaptation of the well-established Housing First approach used to address homelessness. Housing First programs – including the Pathways model and the At Home/Chez Soi project – have shown great success in addressing the needs of adults who experience homelessness, particularly for chronically homeless individuals with significant mental health and addictions issues.

HF4Y is an adaption of the adult Housing First model, but it is based on the understanding that the causes and conditions of youth homelessness are distinct from adults, and therefore the solutions must be youth-focused. HF4Y is grounded in the belief that all young people have a right to housing and that those who have experienced homelessness will do better and recover more effectively if they are first provided with housing.

About the Program Model Guide

THIS is Housing First for Youth: Program Model Guide provides an overview of the research, principles, and philosophy underpinning the HF4Y model. It concludes with a series of case examples of successful local adaptions of the model in communities from around the world.

The key takeaway is that HF4Y builds on many of the best practices of Housing First, but has been designed to support the distinct needs of adolescents transitioning into adulthood. The services that must accompany dedicated housing encompass a broader range of areas of wellbeing.

Part 2 of this guide takes the form of an operations manual, providing practical guidance for how to implement HF4Y. It touches upon a number of areas, including case management, supervision, community planning, and designing youth-focused service supports. It is intended for service providers and community planners who may be interested in the operational aspects of HF4Y.

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