Doing What's Needed: Providing Meaningful Services to Diverse Street Youth Populations

Ms. Joanne Parker,
Dr. Jeff Karabanow
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This presentation explores the alarming increase of street youth populations in Canada and Latin America, noting the distinct and diverse characteristics of this heterogenous population. Street youth 'careers' are examined — highlighting how young people enter street life, cope and survive on the street, and for some, the exiting process. Moreover, data from in-depth interviews across Canada (approximately 150 street youth and 60 service providers) suggest patterns of street disengagement and what diverse services/projects appear to attract hard-core street youth populations. As such, this presentation looks at "what works" and "what doesn't work" in supporting young people who are living on the street.

Keywords: Street Kids, Homeless Youth, Service Delivery, Shelters, Drop-in Clinics, Lessons from the Field
Stream: Other or Stream Unspecified
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in english
Paper: When Difference Matters

Ms. Joanne Parker

Health Outcomes Research Unit, Dalhousie University

Joanne Parker is the Project Coordinator for the Housing and Health Research Program with Dalhousie University's Department of Psychiatry. The project aims to build research capacity related to housing and health for both academics and community service providers in Halifax. Over the past two years, this research team has conducted pilot studies examining the health and health experiences of homeless/at-risk youth in Halifax, and is in the process of expanding the program to study similar themes across the Atlantic region. Joanne sits on the Community Action on Homelessness Research Committee, and is involved in other research projects through the work of this committee, including a national study exploring strategies used by young people trying to exit street life. Joanne has a Bachelor of Science in Health Education (B.Sc.[HE]), and her main area of interest is in the health and experiences of diverse and vulnerable populations.

Dr. Jeff Karabanow

Assistant Professor, Maritime School of Social Work, International Development Studies, Dalhousie University

Ref: D05P0011