Research and PlanningResource Assistance for Youth, Inc.
Resource Assistance for Youth, Inc. is committed to the development of evidence informed interventions, programs, and strategic policies that address the needs of marginalized and homeless youth. Every year we partner with policy makers, researchers, students, and evaluators to contribute to the knowledge base on street-entrenched youth.
If you are interested in doing research at RaY, we would like to hear from you. Currently our Research Priorities are:
- Program Evaluations of RaY
- Youth homelessness
- LGBTQ2S* Youth
What? RaY is providing research leadership around a Winnipeg Plan to End Youth Homelessness. A Plan to End Youth Homelessness will be a guide on what is needed in Winnipeg, based on community consensus and the voices of youth. It can be used by community organizations who serve youth, policy-makers, funders, and decision-makers, to support and work with each other in addressing the complex social and economic challenge of youth homelessness
Why? Youth experiencing homelessness have different developmental needs than adults, they need a different response.
- Youth are learning to be independent. Those who experience homelessness are often on their own for the very first time.
- Youth are at a unique stage of development. Because of this, they often take more risks.
- Youth use different services than adults. They are less likely to stay in emergency shelters, and more likely to rely on informal supports like friends and family.
- Youth are vulnerable to exploitation. They prefer youth-focused services, partly because they are at higher risk when accessing services for all ages.
- Youth have significant involvement with government systems. Almost half have recently left the child welfare system. They have higher rates of incarceration than older adults who experience homelessness. Many avoid health services and therefore end up requiring emergency services
The Winnipeg Street Census was conducted in Winnipeg on October 25th and 26th, 2015. Almost 300 volunteers met with a huge variety of people living in emergency shelters, temporarily with friends and relatives, under bridges and at other temporary spaces. The study provided the first ever estimate of the number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Winnipeg.
RaY’s Information and Research Manager co-authored the final report which can be found here.
For a presentation to the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference delivered by Kelly Holmes, Executive Director of RaY in 2014, RaY conducted secondary analysis of data from 180 young participants to better understand the unique challenges of Indigenous youth experiencing homelessness in Winnipeg.
In 2014, RaY collaborated with Christina Maes-Nino and Mark Courtney from the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg together with Dr.Evelyn Peters from The University of Winnipeg to identify and examine youths’ interactions with governmental systems and how they impacted youth homelessness. This project created the foundation for the Winnipeg Plan to End Youth Homelessness.
RaY’s 360 Evaluation: An Oasis of Safety, Security, and Support
In 2014, Kaplan Research Associates Inc. conducted an independent and comprehensive evaluation of RaY’s services with funding from the United Way of Winnipeg. The evaluation utilized a multi-method approach by including the perspectives of 180 program participants, internal stakeholders (RaY’s staff and Board of Directors), and external stakeholders (representatives of community agencies and government). RaY’s processes, output and outcomes, along with each respondent’s satisfaction with the environment, programs, services and staff were reviewed.
The Homeless Hub by The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness
The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness is a non-profit, non-partisan research institute that is committed to conducting and mobilizing research so as to contribute to solutions to homelessness. They have a library of research that you can access for free.