November 16, 2022 – SRDC is excited to release the final report for the project Safe, stable, long-term: Supporting 2SLGBTQ+ youth along the housing continuum. This project involved two phases of research to explore the housing journeys and experiences of 2SLGBTQ+ youth and the barriers and facilitators they face to access stable, safe, and long-term housing in Canada. The final report, which includes an executive summary of Phase 1 and Phase 2, infographics highlighting key findings from Phase 2, and co-designed solutions and recommendations from service providers and youth, is available here.
Phase 1 used existing literature and data sources to explore the scope of housing instability among 2SLGBTQ+ youth and the landscape of providers, programs, and policies that exist along the housing continuum across Canada. These findings informed the scope and direction of Phase 2, which used an experience-based co-design methodology to centre youths’ voices and experiences throughout data collection and analysis. We conducted semi-structured interviews, co-design workshops, and asynchronous feedback with 2SLGBTQ+ youth and service providers to understand youths’ holistic experiences and needs across their housing journeys. Finally, we worked with youth and service providers to co-design solutions and recommendations and formed an advisory group of youth to review and validate knowledge translation products.
2SLGBTQ+ youth experience numerous compounding barriers that impact their ability to find and maintain adequate housing throughout their journeys. Participants identified key barriers and enablers to accessing and maintaining both housing and housing supports and services. In all types of housing, youth expressed a need for wrap-around and flexible supports, and youth and service providers identified ways that necessary services were unavailable, inaccessible, or inadequate. Service providers shared promising practices from their own programs and co-designed a journey map of the highs and lows that service providers and youth experience when accessing housing-related support.
This report defines four critical junctures along youths’ housing journeys. It identifies four key themes influencing youths’ ability and decision to access and maintain housing at all points along the housing continuum. We found that youth were consistently forced to make trade-offs between necessities in housing, healthcare, education, and employment. We present a prototype for a queer housing continuum co-designed with 2SLGBTQ+ youth, depicting their housing journeys in a non-linear, contextualized manner. This proposed continuum highlights the finding that housing precarity is experienced across all housing types, including within affordable and market rentals. Movement happens not only between housing types but is often cyclical. Finally, this report contains co-designed recommendations and implications for service-providing organizations, community members and businesses, and decision- and policy-makers.
SRDC thanks the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for supporting this work, as well as project partners the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) , and Mentor Canada, along with the service providers and youth who provided their time, experiences, and invaluable insights.