Youth homelessness and housing stability: What outcomes should we be looking for? [2019]

In North America, the key performance indicator of success in community strategies to address homelessness is whether a homeless person is housed or not. In this article, we argue that for young people experiencing homelessness, we need to advance a broader consideration of outcomes to include a range of well-being indicators designed to understand the needs of developing adolescents and young adults and contribute to housing stability. We articulate that the positive outcomes of young people across life domains that include housing stability as well as their safety and security, health and well-being, social connections to peers, family and meaningful adults, connections to groups/neighbourhoods/communities, interests and recreation and leisure, and school and career/work aspirations and goals must be at the centre of these efforts. The Making the Shift project is designed to test this outcomes framework in order to enhance service and measurement capacity and ultimately improve outcomes for youth.

Stephen Gaetz, PhD, Ashley Ward, PhD, Lauren Kimura, MPH
Healthcare Management Forum, February 5, 2019