History of A Way Home Peterborough
A Way Home Peterborough emerged from the work of Family Reconnect, which was formed in October 2014 aimed at family reunification through supports and services as a way to reduce youth homelessness. As Family Reconnected progressed it became apparent that a broader systems approach was needed to address the complexities of youth homelessness.
A Way Home Peterborough Timeline
YES Shelter for Youth and Families (YES) invited six partner agencies to explore how to support youth homeless/at imminent risk of becoming homeless, within their family context. This “Family Reconnect” planning group received support from the United way of Peterborough’s Innovation funding.
‘Family Reconnect’ group engaged with Innoweave’s Youth Collective Impact (CI) initiative that provided coaching for the group to expand their initial intentions into an ambitious and comprehensive Theory of Change to prevent and reduce youth homelessness in Peterborough.
‘Family Reconnect’ creates two key positions to support youth and their families: a Youth Outreach Worker at YES and Enhanced Youth Outreach Worker at Peterborough Youth Services (with funding from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services). The “Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth” program offered youth and their primary caregivers conflict resolution and communication skills in weekly sessions co-facilitated by various service providers.
March 22, 2016
Peterborough conducts its first Point In Time Count (a snapshot of homelessness within a community on one night). Results show that youth homelessness starts young and persists.
A part time Project Manager is hired with Innoweave’s Youth CI Stage 1 funding.
A Way Home Canada is engaged to initiate a comprehensive process of systems mapping, stakeholder engagement, and further refinement of the local Theory of Change. Their work culminated in a feedback meeting and launch event to share findings, outcomes and promising practices from across the country, and gather insights and refine approaches based on the input of stakeholders from across the community.
A full time Project Manager is hired with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Collective Impact granting stream. Four young people with experience of housing insecurity/homelessness are hired on a part time basis as “Youth Engagement Facilitators”. Their role is to bring youth voice to all aspects of AWHP’s research, planning, and implementation activities.
AWHP’s Youth Engagement Facilitators present a photo exhibit “Shot! Youth Lens on Homelessness” as part of the Spark Photo Festival. Youth were given cameras and a mission to Peterborough what homelessness means to them.
May 24, 2017
An event is held to launch the initiative a “A Way Home Peterborough”. As an A Way Home community, Peterborough has become part of a national movement committed to ending youth homelessness by shifting to prevention, systems planning and Collective Impact.
A Youth Housing Support Worker is hired to support youth in finding and maintaining their housing (with funding from the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, in partnership with the United way of Peterborough and District).
AWHP now includes over 20 partner agencies and many citizens participating in four working groups to move forward the Theory of Change: 1) Prevention, 2) System of Care 3) Housing & Supports 4) Youth Engagement.
A System of Care Developer is contracted to streamline and coordinate access to services and to develop a shared measurement framework to inform and evaluate AEHP’s progress.
March 20, 2018
Peterborough hosts its second Point In Time Count, with AWHP’s Youth Engagement Facilitators advising the process and supporting a ‘youth magnet event’ in an effort to include more youth, whose homelessness is often hidden.
AWHP’s Youth Engagement Facilitators participate again in the Spark Photo Festival, this time asking homeless youth to capture “What does Home mean to you?”
AWHP hosts Elisa Traficante of Raising the Roof to present on Host Homes and announces receipt of Innovation Funding from the United Way of Peterborough and District to develop this concept locally.