About Youthworks

This national initiative aims to help solve youth homelessness.

Why the focus on youth?  It’s simple. We believe that the best way to prevent long-term
homelessness is to address the issue when people are young.

The goal? To generate models that other communities can adopt and adapt.

Results to Date

In 2009, Raising the Roof began Youthworks, a research-based initiative that aimed to address the growing issue of youth homelessness in Canada.

The first stage of Youthworks was a report titled ‘Youth Homelessness in Canada: The Road to Solutions’, a national research report based largely on the experiences of 700 homeless, at-risk and unemployed youth in Calgary, Toronto and St. John’s, including input from youth-serving agencies, policy makers and researchers from across Canada.

The second stage of the initiative was a follow-up report, ‘It’s Everybody’s Business: Engaging the Private Sector in Solutions to Youth  Homelessness’, which examined the important role employers can play in helping disadvantaged youth succeed.

Stop Youth Homelessness

In 2012, our pro bono partner Leo Burnett helped us launch a national campaign to raise awareness about the issue of youth homelessness in Canada. The Campaign for Potential garnered international attention, and was awarded a Cannes Silver Lion.

Important recommendations from both reports were incorporated into a Youth Employment Toolkit, which provided resources for both employers and community agencies to connect at-risk youth with job opportunities. This toolkit was then used in 4 pilot communities, with the results detailed in an activation report.

For more information about our continued work to address youth homelessness, check out The Upstream Project.