Introduction to Housing First for Youth

Putting Core Principles into Practice

Are you able to support young people to sustain exits from homelessness? Can you deliver services and engage youth with empathy, respect and compassion? Can you provide the supports that youth need to stabilize their housing while honouring youth voice and choice? Can you guide them to connect with the services they need to transition to adulthood in a safe and planned way?

Practice Example:

David and Anna are case managers who work with young people in a HF4Y program. While David is very passionate about working with youth, Anna feels that he sometimes rushes youth to make decisions without giving them space to talk about their dreams and preferences. Anna discusses her concerns with David, suggesting that even though it can seem easier to make decisions for youth, in the long term, we aren’t helping them to develop important life skills. 

Now consider, do you engage with young people from a strengths-based perspective?

Use the questions below to help you self-assess your knowledge, skills, attitudes and practices related to supporting young people to exit homelessness in ways that align with HF4Y core principles. 

  1. Do you recognize how your interactions and relationships with your clients can serve to either empower or impair self-determination?
  2. Do you take the time to listen to your clients, to understand their experiences and perspectives and to offer information and support based on their individual needs and strengths?
  3. Do you actively listen first before offering suggestions, refrain from giving opinions unless asked, ask questions (but not too many)? 
  4. Can you offer validation and normalize youth feelings, actions and response, while holding space for their worries and fears without trying to ‘fix’ them?

Learn more about working with youth from a strengths-based perspective. See Core Character Competencies and Positive Youth Development Framework.