The Real TO: Bringing Youth Together as Researchers and Change Agent in a Tumultuous Time
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 high incidence of youth homelessness in Canada, much of what we know about their challenges is learned through cross-sectional studies of “real-time” life experiences. Relatively little is known about the longer-term outcomes of youth who have experienced homelessness, particularly after they move out of transitional housing. By examining a larger sample and a greater longitudinal timeframe than prior research efforts in Canada, this study seeks to understand the life experiences and outcomes for 18 months after youth (aged 18-26) move out of care provided through transitional housing programs. Additionally, this study aims to explore the ways in which technology-enabled research can support what is typically a difficulty-to-track population.
Beyond generating knowledge and developing collaborations between academic research, community-based service provision, and policy systems, this project also seeks to advance reproductive justice scholars, innovators, and decision-makers who are committed to improving homeless and formerly homeless youths’ lives and outcomes. To that end, this project has the potential to drive innovations that will inform prevention-focused service delivery, evidence-based intervention development, and more strategic policy formation, while also adding important “pieces of the puzzle” to the generally scarce extant academic literature base.