The goal of the Community Strategy to End Youth Homelessness in Edmonton is to inspire innovation, shared principles, and ways forward for strategic cross-systems and integrated planning for our community of stakeholders, in order to work together more collaboratively to achieve our shared vision of ending youth homelessness.
The origins of the report began with Homeward Trust’s work with the youth sector in relation to the Winter Emergency Response program, which provides funding and coordination for winter warming centres. Homeless youth were encountering serious gaps at the systems level and misconnections at the community level, and in the end were accessing programs/services not equipped to address their specific needs and conditions. Given the impending winter season, there was a sense of urgency to ensure the most vulnerable youth could access services and be guided along clear pathways to permanent housing and support options to keep them safe and healthy. As a response to these concerns, and to help Homeward Trust understand its role in terms of community-level resourcing and cross-systems planning, Edmonton’s homelessness sector and systems partners were engaged to exchange knowledge, identify gaps, and prioritize areas to focus resources and planning.