An Examination of Homeless Youths’ Longitudinal Aftercare Experiences
Principal Investigator: Stephanie Begun
Co-Investigators: Barbara Fallon, Bryn King, Kaitlin Schwan, Naomi Thulien, Naomi Nichols, Sead Kidd, Stephen Gaetz,
Collaborators: Amanda Noble, David French, Carolyn O’Connor
Expected Project Timeline: 2019-2024
Funder: Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, Insight Grant
Despite the documented prevalence of youth homelessness across Canada, most knowledge of challenges experienced by this population is generated through cross-sectional studies of youths’ current or “real-time” life experiences. Relatively little is known about the longer-term outcomes of young people who have experienced homelessness, particularly after they move out of transitional housing. This study seeks to understand, among a larger sample and for a greater longitudinal timeframe than in prior research efforts in Canada, youths’ (ages 18-26) life experiences and outcomes for 18 months after moving out of care provided through transitional housing programs. This research also aims to establish insights regarding technology-enabled research methodologies that may demonstrate promise in engaging and retaining this notoriously difficult-to-track population in longitudinal research. Exploring such lines of inquiry will facilitate the broader objectives of this work, which are to: 1) generate knowledge; 2) develop collaborations and expansively mobilize knowledge across domains of academic research, community-based service provision, and policy systems; and 3) mentor Advancing reproductive justice scholars, innovators, and decision-makers who are committed to improving homeless and formerly homeless youths’ lives and outcomes. This in-depth, technology-enabled, mixed-methods longitudinal study has the potential to drive innovations that inform prevention-focused service delivery, evidence-based intervention development, and more strategic policy formation, while also adding important missing “pieces of the puzzle” to the generally scarce extant academic literature base.