We are delighted to announce the public release of Raising the Roof’s Host Homes Toolkit.
What’s Host Homes?
Host Homes provides a safe, temporary, home-like environment for youth who are experiencing or at-risk of entering homelessness. This shelter diversion strategy is paired with wrap-around, youth-driven services provided by a local community agency.
Why Host Homes?
- Youth have the autonomy to decide on what services would benefit them the most and whom they would like to live with
- Existing models show it is cost-effective and successful in preventing youth homelessness
- Youth are able to stay in their community and maintain existing natural supports
Thanks to the generous funding of Canada’s ESDC- Homelessness Partnering Strategy, Innovative Solutions to Homelessness program, Raising the Roof was able to explore the Host Homes model through a 14-month project to complete two main tasks:
- Evaluate Bridging the Gap’s existing Host Homes program in Halton Region, Ontario
- Create an online toolkit to support the development for future Host Homes programs across Canada
Our Host Homes toolkit is designed to help service providers, potential host volunteers and youth better understand and have more insight as to what they may expect from a Host Homes program.
What does the toolkit include?
- For Community Agencies: communications & outreach materials, intake & forms, host interview questions & assessments and much more.
- For prospective Hosts: contact information for local programs, information about the program model & matching process with a clear description of other elements of the host experience.
- For prospective Youth: a clear description of the process & matching process, a guide to understanding their rights and responsibilities as clients of a host homes program.
- For Government: research, program evaluations and a public policy paper to support the model.
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Raising the Roof could not have completed this project without a lot of help from our outstanding partners across Canada, America and England. Each of our partners met with us and provided us with valuable information, feedback and resources.
- A Way Home Canada (Pan Canadian)
- Aura Host Homes, Boys and Girls Club of Calgary (Calgary, AB)
- Avenues for Youth (Pan American)
- Host Homes, The Bridge Services (Kelowna, BC)
- Host Homes, oneRoof (Kitchener, ON)
- Hub Solutions, The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (Pan Canadian)
- Safe Coach, Family and Community Support Services (Cochrane, AB)
- Nightstop Canada, 360°kids (York Region, ON)
- Nightstop U, Depaul (Pan United Kingdom)
We must extend a special thank you to our core partner for this project Bridging the Gap (BtG). Not only were they instrumental in the development of the toolkit but they also allowed us to execute a deep program evaluation of their Host Homes model. The final evaluation report for this project will be published later this month.
The next steps:
Moving forward, Raising the Roof will be supporting communities and organizations interested in launching Host Homes programming through a training and technical support program.
To learn more about this opportunity, please contact:
Elisa Traficante, Director of Community Initiatives
For media, please contact:
Purva Chury, Manager of Marketing and Communications