Collaboration is Key
In our nearly 20 years, we at Raising the Roof have seen many developments in the way the issue of homelessness is addressed at both the national and local level. Since the inception of our fundraising Toque Campaign and subsequent national initiatives such as Youthworks and Child & Family, we’ve valued collaboration, and have worked with partners that include community agencies, corporate partners, and other organizations. However, it is only recently that a real shift in the way we approach long-term solutions to homelessness has taken place.
Addressing Youth Homelessness
The issue of youth homelessness has always been an important part of the work we do at Raising the Roof. One of the early goals of our Toque Campaign was to support community partner agencies specifically working with young people. Our Youthworks Initiative then went on to partner with additional community agencies (then a part of the National Learning Community) to publish both The Road to Solutions (2009) and It’s Everybody’s Business (2012). We also developed a comprehensive Employment Toolkit for both community agencies and employers to assist in connecting at-risk or homeless youth with job opportunities.
A Way Home
While we have always embraced partnership in our efforts to address youth homelessness, we have never before aligned ourselves with other national organizations in a united effort – until now. We are thrilled to be one of the founding coalition members for A Way Home, a collaborative dedicated to preventing, reducing, and ending youth homelessness in Canada. This is the first time that national leading organizations have come together to say that this is a problem that can be solved, and that together we have the tools to make youth homelessness in this country history.
In coming together, coalition members of A Way Home are able to contribute their unique strengths as part of a collective effort. This not only increases impact, but also reduces the amount of duplication that takes place. In pooling our resources, talents, and passion, we have more to bring to the table than ever before.
A great example of the type of initiative that can happen with greater collaboration is The Upstream Project. Raising the Roof, alongside coalition member Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH), is working together with the support of A Way Home to implement prevention programming that aims to address youth homelessness before it starts. By leveraging the unique talents of all partners, this project will include several key elements that will bring the project to life at the local, provincial and national levels.
We look forward to partnering with our fellow A Way Home coalition members in the months to come, confident that by working together, we can have a great impact on the issue of youth homelessness.
Originally Published by the Homeless Hub