Evaluation and Measuring Progress

Success in Trade for Trades is measured a bit differently compared to many other homeless/at-risk youth programs, which are purely focused on measuring a youth’s progress. Instead, outcomes are examined in three major areas:

  1. Number of youth completing the program and where they transition to afterwards.
  2. Successful completion of quality work for clients (including passing city inspections, maintaining COR certification, client satisfaction, number of completed projects).
  3. Progress towards self-sustainability (including projects being taken on independently that do not require additional funding support).

“[Be] very purposeful about what you’re trying to achieve on both outcomes. For us, it’s a bit of a scenario where if we don’t have high outcomes for young people but we have high outcomes in terms of quality of our work. What’s the point? If we have high outcomes for young people but don’t have quality work, pretty soon [there’s going to] be no point, because this is going to disappear. So really, it’s about designing a program that can achieve both.”  —Sheldon Pollett, Executive Director, Choices for Youth

A formal evaluation of the project was done in Years 1 and 2 only. This means that there has not been an extension evaluation completed in several years. As the project moves into a social enterprise model (beginning April 1st 2015) there will be an increased emphasis on evaluation. This will be discussed in the Changes to Train for Trades for 2015-2016 section.