Housing Initiatives Program Partners

In April of 2012, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation entered into a $1.25 million multi-year funding partnership ($250,000 per year for five years) with Eva's Initiatives, the Learning Community (National Initiatives Program) and the Canadian Housing & Renewal Association to end youth homelessness by fostering collective community action and promoting systemic change to public policies in Canada. The Mobilizing Local Capacity to End Youth Homelessness focused on two main components: local community engagement- helping communities assess local needs and identify resources to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness; and, systemic policy change – encouraging policies and strategies to promote and support transformative change within government services at all levels.

Over the past four years, the Mobilizing Local Capacity (MLC) to End Youth Homelessness program has:

  • Built community awareness about youth homelessness
  • Supported and assisted communities to develop and implement plans that will prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness
  • Facilitated linkages and fostered effective networks and collective action to combat youth homelessness
  • Promoted systemic change to Canadian policies impacting on youth homelessness

On October 29th, 2015, A Way Home a new national coalition dedicated to supporting communities and governments to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness in Canada was launched. The Coalition grew out of the demonstrated success of the Mobilizing Local Capacity to End Youth Homeless program in fostering collaboration among the national organizations in the sector. Founding members of the coalition include: the National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness (Eva’s Initiatives), the Canadian Housing & Renewal Association, Raising the Roof, the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness and Egale Canada, and is supported by a table of dedicated funders, including the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, Home Depot Canada Foundation and the Laidlaw Foundation. A Way Home is dedicated to inspiring and facilitating change through promoting effective strategies that shift the focus from an emergency response, to promoting prevention (stopping young people from becoming homeless in the first place) and helping those who do become homeless move into housing with supports as rapidly as possible, in a safe and planned way.

A key strength of A Way Home is that it is not just another autonomous national organization competing for resources and public attention. Rather, it is an outcome of active collaboration between a range of national partners, all of whom bring expertise, resources, national profile and members to support the work of A Way Home.

A Way Home supports and enables communities to make this shift through a Collective Impact framework and a coordinated constellation of strategic and practical resources, activities and supports, and at the same time advising and assisting national, regional, and local governments to develop, fund and implement effective solutions to youth homelessness. The experience gained through the Mobilizing Local Capacity to End Youth Homelessness program, a national pilot to support six communities to develop and implement plans to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness, along with the skills, knowledge and resources being leveraged from national coalition partners (and the private sector) enables A Way Home to make a real difference in supporting communities to plan and implement strategies to end youth homelessness.

A Way Home takes its name from the youth homelessness community planning process in Kamloops, BC (a pilot community in the MLC program) and their extensive youth engagement work as they developed their community plan. Youth repeatedly expressed that there is more than one way home, and ‘home’ means different things to different people.

The CDF approved a new commitment of $1.25 million in funding in November 2016 to ensure A Way Home can carry on with its ground-breaking and ambitious efforts to end youth homelessness. This signifies a total investment of $2.5 million dollars over 10 years from the Catherine Donnelly Foundation to prevent and eradicate youth homelessness.

Together with the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, a broad and diverse group of funders are convening in the A Way Home Funders Table, a structure that will support coordinating financial commitments, reporting mechanisms and active engagement in the work with Coalition members.

We can prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness in Canada. For more information on A Way Home please visit www.awayhome.ca.


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