We can prevent, reduce & end youth homelessness

We believe that it is possible to prevent, reduce and ultimately end youth homelessness

When we say this, we do not mean that there will never be young people forced to leave home in a crisis who will need emergency supports and temporary housing.

There will continue to be people in both urban and rural areas who must leave home because of family conflict and violence, eviction or other emergencies, as well as those who simply face challenges in making the transition to independent living.

Rather, ending youth homelessness means eliminating a broad social problem that traps young people in an ongoing state of homelessness.

When young people and their families do not have access to necessary supports, homelessness is often a result. Many young people are forced to leave their communities, and, without access to permanent and age appropriate housing and necessary supports, come to depend on emergency services.

Becoming mired in homelessness often leads to exploitation, declining health and wellbeing, and most certainly an uncertain future. Without appropriate prevention strategies or early interventions that help young people get off the streets as quickly as possible, they may become entrenched in a lifelong struggle with poverty, addiction and mental health challenges. We also know that repeated cycles of youth homelessness can lead to chronic adult homelessness.

To ensure that young people do not become trapped in homelessness, we must stop their “transition” into adult homelessness and ultimately into a life-long reliance on the adult social service sector.

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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.