What We Do

Community Planning

Click here to access the 2017 Webinar Series.

Our approach to community planning

A community plan sets the goal of preventing, reducing and ending youth homelessness using the Collective Impact framework.

A Way Home helps local communities plan, implement and sustain effective, evidence-based and measurable strategies.

We support community plans in three ways:

1. Catalyst Events
Timing is everything. We respond to opportunities in communities, provinces and territories to bring A Way Home’s knowledge base and resources to catalyze youth homelessness planning and the implementation process.

Catalyst events are designed to showcase the support A Way Home can provide.

2. Technical and Implementation Supports
A Way Home can provide support to communities in the following ways:

  • Resources
  • Toolkits
  • Webinars
  • Example plans and implementation strategies

3. Community of Practice
We are committed to providing all tools and resources free and open-source. We encourage consultants and other practitioners to contribute to this body of knowledge

To view examples of Community Plans, click here.

2017 Webinar Series

Communities everywhere are asking for assistance on how to develop and implement successful plans. In response to this need, A Way Home’s Youth Homelessness Community Planning Webinar Series will provide guidance on the fundamentals for strong community planning practice over the 2017 year.

Consider participating in one or all of these webinars if you are a(n):

  • Community Leader or coordinator  of a community planning process or want to start one?
  • Funder who wants to increase the impact of your support on youth homelessness.
  • Ontario Service Manager who wants to support better service integration for young people.
  • Community Entity (CE) or Community Advisory Board (CAB) looking to enhance the impact of HPS investments on youth homelessness.
  • Policy maker who wants to ensure community plans are aligned with government policy for maximum impact?
  • Executive Director (or Manager) of a youth-serving agency who wants better integration of services in your community so young people no longer slip through the cracks.
  • Member of a community planning steering committee or board member who wants to know more about the mechanics of community planning to make more effective contributions.
  • Consultant hired to support youth homelessness efforts by conducting research, writing plans or facilitating stakeholder groups.
  • Researcher working on a project with bearing on youth homelessness and want to enhance its research and policy relevance.

Upcoming Webinars


The webinar series will continue in the fall of 2017 with topics ranging from:

  • Role of Funders
  • Systems Integration, Regional Planning
  • Government Policy
  • Youth Collaboration
  • Achieving Early Wins ….. to so much more!!!!

Past Webinars

January 31, 2017

Webinar 1 – Youth Homelessness Community Planning 101

Dr. Alina Turner walks you step-by-step through the fundamentals involved in building a plan to prevent and end youth homelessness in your community. Alina has developed such plans in a variety of communities: urban, rural and regional. She brings a system planning approach to her work and grounds this in Collective Impact principles. In this webinar, she works through topics including: community readiness, research and consultations approaches, setting targets and costs analysis, and implementation considerations.

Watch Webinar 1 online now: https://youtu.be/YdprwvToX1A

February 28, 2017

Webinar 2 – Collective Impact and Youth Homelessness Community Planning

Melanie Redman, Executive Director of A Way Home Canada and Dr. Stephen Gaetz, Director of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness offer a practical training on Collective Impact and the role it plays in youth homelessness community planning. The session is peppered with mini case studies of the successes and pitfalls of Collective Impact work and what we can learn from them. Participants will gain a rich understanding of why Collective Impact is critical if we want to prevent and end youth homelessness.

Watch Webinar 2 online now: https://youtu.be/MMnggSezNmY

March 24, 2017

Webinar 3 – Role of Ontario Service Managers and Youth Homelessness Community Planning

Webinar 3 is for Ontario Service Managers and their community partners. In partnership with OMSSA and particular interest for Ontario, this webinar will also be useful for community leaders and partners across Canada seeking new strategies and tools to strengthen the relationship between local governments and communities. Join Dr. Alina Turner, Amanda Buchnea and M.J. McKitterick.

Watch Webinar 3 online now: https://youtu.be/3VXNZ8QeB90

28 June 2017

Webinar 4 – Understanding and Enumerating our Efforts to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness

For Webinar 4, Dr. Alina Turner (Turner Strategies) and Jesse Donaldson (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness) provided an introduction to the 4 research pillars of the Youth Homelessness Data Dashboard with a deeper dive into:

1. UNDERSTANDING: Research on the causes, conditions and responses to youth homelessness.

2. ENUMERATION: Assessing the scale and the scope of the problem, Homeless Point-in-Time Counts, By-Name-Lists and More!

Watch Webinar 4 online now: https://youtu.be/nQv0B57dosw

12 July 2017

Webinar 5 – Research for Data Management and Measuring our Progress at the Systems Level in Preventing and Ending Youth Homelessness

For Webinar 5, Dr. John Ecker (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness), and Dr. Alina Turner (Turner Strategies) explored the 3rd and 4th pillars of a youth homelessness data dashboard:

3. DATA MANAGEMENT: How to develop Integrated data management at the community level including coordinated entry, effective, appropriate and evidence-based assessment, case management and data sharing.

4. DEMONSTRATING PROGRESS: How to measure progress and the effectiveness of systems approaches, performance indicators and milestones at the community, provincial / territorial and national levels.

Watch Webinar 5 online nowhttps://youtu.be/42shah_EJHk

September 28, 2017

Webinar 6 – Serving Youth Better: Introducing the Youth Homelessness Assessment and Prioritization (YAP) Tool. 

The Youth Assessment and Prioritization Tool (YAP) is the latest evolution in youth homelessness assessment and prioritization tools. It’s designed to support both your organization and System of Care by assessing youth strengths and risks along with providing helpful information in determining appropriate referrals for housing programs and other services as well as assistance with prioritization for services. Building on previous A Way Home webinars that focus on research and the Youth Homelessness Data Dashboard, this webinar will outline the unique features of the tool and how it works in combination with tools you may already be using.

Presenters include David French (A Way Home Canada), Wally Czech (WalRhon Psychological and Assessment Services), the creator of the tool, will provide context for YAP and details of its unique features. Kathryn Kot (McMan) leads a team in Alberta that has been testing YAP and will provide a service provider perspective on this tool. Join this Town Hall style webinar to interact with the presenters and ask questions.

Watch Webinar 6 online now: https://youtu.be/2tWVawRwZ18 and access the PowerPoint slideshow by clicking here

Future webinars include topics ranging from the role of funders, systems integration,regional planning, government policy, youth collaboration,  achieving early wins and so much more!

For full details on the Webinar Series, click here.

This webinar series is developed with generous support from the Government of Ontario and in partnership with the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association, (OMSSA) and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH).

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The views expressed on this website are those of the A Way Home coalition and do not necessarily reflect those of the individual organizations.