Introduction to Housing First for Youth

HF4Y Adaptations for Specific Populations

HF4Y programs can and should be adapted to fit the local community context.

HF4Y programs are an important part of a community strategy to address youth homelessness so that all young people receive the supports they need. Within each community, strategies will be developed to target specific populations with personalized solutions adapted to their needs.

Some examples of specific populations that HF4Y may be adapted for include:

  • Indigenous youth
  • Black, racialized and/or newcomer youth
  • 2SLGBTQIA+ youth
  • Young people involved with or exiting the care of Child Protection Services (or other systems of care)
  • Youth with justice involvement and those leaving corrections
  • Learn more about adaptations of HF4Y with specific groups and communities in Part 3 of this training.

HF4Y with Indigenous Youth

In Canada, Indigenous youth make up about 30% of the youth homelessness population. There is a need for culturally specific adaptations for HF4Y.  

Two examples of HF4Y for Indigenous youth are Home Fire (Calgary, Alberta) and Endaayaang (Hamilton, Ontario). These programs align the core principles with Indigenous ways of knowing that emphasize cultural engagement, reconnection and local knowledge.

When HF4Y programs are adapted for Indigenous youth, it will be important to follow these guidelines:

  • Program design and implementation must be Indigenous led.
  • They must align settler-based views with Indigenous worldviews and teachings.
  • They must address the impacts of colonization and racial discrimination and intergenerational trauma on Indigenous individuals, families and communities. (Thistle, 2017)