Youth homelessness prevention project receives major investment from Government of Canada

News Release

Youth facing barriers to employment benefit from job skills upgrading and employment opportunities

April 25, 2017            Toronto, Ontario                       Employment and Social Development Canada

Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina–Fort York, today announced a $7.9 million investment to A Way Home: Working Together to End Youth Homelessness. Mr. Vaughan made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

Over 1,300 youth and their families will participate in the project, which will be delivered by a partnership between A Way Home: Working Together to End Youth Homelessness, the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (York University), the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, the provinces of Ontario and Alberta and dozens of community partners. The project Making the Shift: Reimagining the response to youth homelessness through social innovation, aims to dramatically improve the educational attainment and labour market participation of some of the most vulnerable young people in Canada by preventing them from becoming homeless. Through Housing First for Youth, homeless youth can attain stable housing and a range of supports necessary for them to participate in education and employment and to make a healthy transition to adulthood, including stronger connections to family, access to mental health and addiction supports, and community engagement.

The Government of Canada will provide approximately $7,991,944 in funding for this project through the Skills Link program, which supports projects that provide hands-on work experience, job search assistance and skills upgrading resources for youth facing barriers to employment—including Indigenous youth, single parents, youth with disabilities, young newcomers and youth in rural and remote areas.


“This project will help vulnerable youth build positive futures and develop the skills they need to contribute meaningfully to the workforce. When youth have the skills and supports they need to succeed, they can get good, well-paying jobs, help grow the economy and join the middle class.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

“Homeless youth are among the most vunerable and marginalized populations who face substantial barriers to education and employment. Assisting Canada’s youth is a priority. A Way Home: Working Together to End Youth Homelessness project is a concrete example of what we can achieve for youth by working in partnership with organizations across the country. Projects like this can give our youth the chance to change their future.”
– Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (Housing and Urban Affairs) and Member of Parliament for Spadina–Fort York

“Through a unique partnership with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (York University), MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, two provinces and dozens of community partners, the Making the Shift project will ensure that young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless achieve housing stability and have natural supports, such as family, that are essential as they receive support to stay in school or access training and employment.”
– Melanie Redman, Executive Director, A Way Home Canada

This project will not only enable over a thousand homeless youth to access education and employment, but will provide us with a much stronger evidence base about how to prevent youth homelessness and support young people who do experience homelessness to exit this situation. It’s all about helping young people in a tough situation to move forward in their lives in a way that promotes wellness and the chance to succeed.”
– Dr. Stephen Gaetz, Professor, York University, and Director, the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

“This visionary investment by the Government of Canada not only recognizes the leadership that A Way Home Canada, The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness at York University and their many partners have provided through the development of meaningful strategies to support homeless youth in Canada, but it is also an investment in our nation’s future, ensuring that all young Canadians are able to contribute to shaping a better country and a better world.”
Mamdouh Shoukri, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University

Quick Facts

  • Each year the Government invests more than $330 million in the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) to help young people gain the skills, abilities and work experience they need to find and maintain good employment.

  • Total funding for YES was increased by $278 million in 2016–2017, representing the largest investment since its launch in 1997.

  • Budget 2017 proposed an additional $395.5 million over three years for YES, starting in 2017–2018.

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Elizabeth Cheesbrough
Office of Adam Vaughan, M.P.
Spadina–Fort York

Janice Walls
Media Relations, York University

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