In general, youth service providers have a strong interest in learning how effective they are in improving the quality of life for youth experiencing homelessness. But it has proven difficult to identify a coherent framework in which to measure outcomes, and young people's voices have not traditionally been brought into the evaluation process as the people most impacted by these services.
With the support of an Innovative Solutions to Homelessness Microgrant from the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy, Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth sought to fill this gap to help us develop a robust system to gauge our effectiveness in ending youth homelessness. In April 2017, we partnered with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) to help us develop an outcomes framework, not only to benefit ourselves but also to support the evaluative efforts of the Youth Shelter Interagency Network, a group of sister agencies working with homeless youth in Toronto.
This report provides a high-level summary of our outcomes framework project. Together, Eva’s and COH aimed to develop metrics that would extend beyond the “micro-level” of our programs and the “macro-level” of the City of Toronto’s efforts to something that could be contextualized at the community level.