Authored by: Marleny M. Bonnycastle, Maureen Simpkins

Grant: Partnering for Change: Community-Based Solutions for Aboriginal and Inner-City Poverty - 2012-2019
Category: Housing and Neighbourhood Revitalization

Excerpt:

The main reason for initiating a Youth Count was to begin to gather some base-line knowledge about youth homelessness in northern Manitoba and to pose questions such as:

  • Who are the youth experiencing housing instability and homelessness?
  • What are their pathways to homelessness?
  • What are their experiences of homelessness and what do they see as positive solutions to begin to alleviate youth homelessness?

    When working with groups of homeless adults in the city of Thompson between 2012-2015, Drs. Bonnycastle and Simpkins were told stories on a number of occasions about the need to specifically address youth homelessness. Youth homelessness is typically not an issue that is obvious to the public. Youth often don’t want to be seen and often don’t use the homeless shelter services. Youth tend to “couch-surf” and move around staying with friends or family until they need to look for a new place to stay. We were also told that many youth experiencing housing instablity had “aged out of care”. Once they had gone through the child welfare system and turned 18, they were on their own. In Thompson there is no transitional facility for youth in this position. The statistics from the 2016 Thompson Youth count reinforce that both those issues are a reality in Thompson.

    The Thompson Youth Count is part of a larger project on “Youth Homelessness: Including the voices of youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in northern Manitoba”.

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