The Learning Community has identified seven strategic priorities for 2016-2019. These priorities are:
- Community Planning
- Cultural Safety and Diversity
- Data Collection
- Mental Health and Addictions
- Youth Voice
Communities across the country are in the process of designing and implementing their community plans to end youth homelessness.
The purpose of the Community Planning Working Group is to strengthen the Learning Community members capacity to utilize community planning within their communities and regions and to support the development of a national community of practice for community planning to prevent reduce and end youth homelessness.
The Community Planning Working Group has the following outcomes for the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan of the Learning Community:
- Community planning toolkit designed by A Way Home Canada is being used and evaluated
- Support the work of the A Way Home Community Planning Constellation
- Integration of Learning Community Members with the Community Planning constellation of A Way Home
Cultural Safety and Diversity
The purpose of the Cultural Safety and Diversity Working Group is to support youth service providers to develop policies and procedures that create/maintain/enhance/strengthen safe and welcoming space for youth program participants.
The Cultural Safety and Diversity Working Group has the following outcomes for the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan of the Learning Community:
- Develop an environmental scan of cultural safety and diversity resources and tools; researched cross cultural education/training options; compiled policies/procedures that promote inclusivity.
- Design knowledge/training modules that create/celebrate inclusivity; drafted a resource that shares “welcoming” and other signs in the multiple languages of participants. Have compiled literature related to inclusive staff hiring and retention strategies.
- Design a Cultural Safety and Diversity Toolkit.
The purpose of the Data Collection Task Force is to support the Learning Community to develop a framework for open data sourcing.
The Data Collection Task Force has the following outcomes for the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan of the Learning Community:
- Develop a framework for open data sourcing
- Support the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness’ National Survey dissemination process
- Use data to influence policy decisions
The purpose of the Housing Working Group is to support organizations and communities to better respond to the housing needs of youth within their local context.
The Housing Working Group has the following outcomes for the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan of the Learning Community:
- Inform the National Housing Strategy
- Knowledge mobilization of promising practices on youth housing
- Support the Housing First for Youth Framework
Mental Health and Addictions
The purpose of the Mental Health and Addictions Working Group is to improve how Learning Community members and our sector support youth with mental health issues and addictions.
The Mental Health and Addictions Working Group has the following outcomes for the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan of the Learning Community:
- Advise on the content of forthcoming book on the mental health of youth experiencing homelessness
- Develop relationships with key national and regional mental health experts and organizations
- Develop key messages around mental health and substance abuse
- Design a mental health toolkit for service providers
- Support the dissemination of the National Youth Homelessness Survey with a focus on mental health
The purpose of the Prevention Task Force is to support organizations shift towards implementing a prevention philosophy and framework.
The Prevention Task Force has the following outcomes for the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan of the Learning Community:
- Design and promote a series of webinars in partnership with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness to support the release of their prevention framework
- Develop a prevention program inventory
- Design a change management guide for organizations who want to shift towards prevention work
- Create a prevention language glossary
Youth experiencing homelessness know what supports are necessary and also how systems have failed them. The National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness is committed to creating space for youth to engage in the national conversation and be a key partner in plans to end youth homelessness.
The Learning Community is the lead partner of A Way Home Canada’s youth voice work. As such the Learning Community and A Way Home Canada have designed the Youth Voice Working Group outcomes for the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan of the Learning Community. These are:
- Identify youth engagement models that Learning Community members and A Way Home can adapt
- Work towards ensuring there are youth with lived experience attending major national homelessness conferences (e.g. the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness conference)
- Convene spaces for youth consultations on resources, toolkits, policy briefs etc. developed by the Learning Community, A Way Home and our other partners
- Develop and design opportunities for young people to convene nationally in partnership with young people
- Work towards ensuring young people are able to Influence policy making and national agenda on homelessness and housing issues
- Improved service delivery by Learning Community members and the sector as a whole as a result of strong youth engagement activities