TYPS Map Project: My Agenda Plan for Reducing Rural Youth Homelessness
- Rural Secretariat – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- Town Youth Participation Strategies (TYPS): Youth Centres Canada; Side Door Youth Ministries Youth Centre; Eagles Fire Youth Centre; Gander Youth Centre; Botwood Youth Centre; Youth 2000 Centre
Portage la Prairie (MB); Yellowknife (NWT); and Gander, Botwood, and Grand Falls (NF)
2010/08/23 – 2011/07/31
Youth and People in Rural and Remote Areas
This project tested the effectiveness of a youth homelessness reduction strategy which uses an assessment and case support tool kit (My Agenda and Plan, or MAPS) with corresponding training for youth workers located in youth centres. The objective of the project was to increase youths’ ability to overcome the barriers leading to homelessness or that place them at-risk of homelessness.
The project involved the use of an assessment and support tool kit, which were completed by youth on a voluntarily basis, with the support of a youth worker, in order to identify the youth most at-risk of becoming homeless and provide them with the appropriate intervention. Each site’s anchor youth centre/youth program was in charge of operating the project and target in total 300 youth. The centres were members of TYPS, and had previously received training and materials for developing programs recognized as Best Practices in reducing youth homelessness. Three youth workers (one for each centre) received further training through TYPS, to assist youth in completing their MAP kits and action plans.
The MAP Kit included a checklist and support for securing items/resources identified by several studies and workshops as key in addressing barriers and reducing youth homelessness, such as: identification; school registration and educational records; medical history and family physician; referral support; and employment curriculum vitae. Following the completion of the checklist, youth were supported in developing an action plan.
By July 26, 2011, the five participating youth centres had engaged a total of 304 youth (162 female and 142 male). Participating youth were able to overcome barriers and risks leading to homelessness, including: improving their school attendance; securing employment or increasing their participation in volunteer work; improve their health care awareness and wellness planning, through things such as acquiring a health card; and maintain housing arrangements or improve upon them. In cases where youth improved their housing situation, youth who had been homeless (i.e., couch surfing with friends) had moved into relatively stable living situations with a relative. No youth experienced deterioration in their living situation. Every centre reported a decrease in youth offending. It is important to point out that the short timeframe for the MAP pilot project limited youth in completing items on the MAP checklist. Youth indicated that if they had had more time they would have continued their achievement of checklist items. A finalized MAP project with an online monitoring system is ready to be implemented in other communities.
|Site||Participants||Same housing||Improved housing||Deterioration in housing stability||Unknown|
|Portage la Prairie||101||99%||0||1%|
Source: youth centre staff
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