Conduct a needs assessment of your agency’s capacity to run a prevention program and of your local community’s capacity to support such a program
Questions to consider:
- Is it a good fit for your agency?
- Does your mission and strategic plan provide latitude for developing a prevention program?
- Has the need for youth homelessness prevention been identified in your community by any of the following: housing and homelessness groups, schools, youth groups, family service organizations, crisis centers, health, addictions, corrections agencies, the municipality, media, etc? ( This will help you gather the evidence and support needed for your proposed initiative.)
- Would your school board, municipality or provincial government support such a program?
- Would your local Community Advisory Board (CAB) under the federal Homelessness Partnering Strategy consider funding such a program? (Contact Service Canada to reach your local CAB).
- Could a local foundation (United Way, Community Foundation) or service organization (Rotary) be a partner in your prevention program?
Tips: Community Readiness
- If you host student placements or partner with post-secondary schools, develop a small research/outreach assignment with them to survey/gauge interest among your potential stakeholders and partners.
- Convene a roundtable discussion with potential stakeholders and partners you’ve identified to discuss the need for a prevention program and what it should look like (be sure to record a summary of the discussion and key ideas, decisions).
- Talk with members of your local Homelessness Partnering Strategy Community Advisory Board (CAB) about your program idea, and be sure to review their Community Plan for Addressing Homelessness to see if there is a fit. (Contact your CAB via Service Canada).
- Consider partnering with other service providers to strengthen your application/proposal.
- If your organization wishes to take the lead (perhaps in partnership with other service providers), consider doing a SWOT (analysis of the program’s implications for your organization, its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats), in order to ensure you have a clear vision of the road ahead, and the required capacity and resources needed to move forward.