Introduction to Housing First for Youth

Social Inclusion and Community Integration

This is the fifth core principle of HF4Y.

Young people are supported to build strengths, skills and relationships so that they can participate in their community, education and employment. This requires socially supportive engagement and the opportunity to participate in meaningful activities.

Separation from family, friends and natural supports can result in social isolation. Case management should, therefore, focus on building and strengthening a young person’s network of support, so that they can draw upon these individuals in times of need. This network may include family members but also natural supports, such as family friends, coaches, teachers, or other meaningful adults that can play a positive role in their life.

Some youth may not wish to reconnect with family in that moment of time and their views must be respected. HF4Y staff can continue to explore this area and be open for young people to change their minds.  There should also be opportunities for youth to build new connections and explore other relationships that continue on after they leave the program. 

Ways to apply the principle:

  • Be aware that housing is the first step but only one component.
  • Provide safe and culturally-sensitive programming for youth who are experiencing exclusion based on their identities (e.g. 2SLGBTQIA+ youth, Indigenous youth)
  • Create welcoming and inclusive spaces.
  • Ensure that youth who face barriers to involvement (e.g., language barriers, disabilities) are effectively supported and included