Individuals whose housing is not stable or secure. As a result of external factors; personal crisis, domestic issues, poverty, discrimination, they may be “at risk” of losing their housing. Youth are particularly affected by a Division of Household, where there is a conflict between children and caregivers, creating an untenable situation and youth do not have the resources to seek out stable housing.


The individual who is the youth's main contact to ensure the youth's concerns are heard and addressed, as well as to ensure the success of the youth in the host home.


Differences among individuals or groups (Government of Ontario, 2008).


People who do not have access to stable and/or safe housing, who are as a result, accessing emergency shelter and supportive services. Accommodations are generally “stop-gap” services offered by the government, non-profit, faith-based, or volunteer organizations (Gaetz et al., 2012).


The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (n.d.a) defines Family reunification as a program in which youth are supported in returning home or reconnecting with family if it is safe to do so. In this process, both the youth and their family members define what family looks like to them while using client-centred counselling focused on rebuilding family relationships, resolving loss, building life skills, and engaging in the community. 


The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (n.d.b) defines fluidity as a dynamic identity of gender and/or sexuality (ie. man and woman, gay and straight). Not to be confused with transitioning.


The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (n.d.b) defines heterosexism as a behaviour that grants preferential treatment to people who define themselves as heterosexual over individuals who define themselves as homosexual or queer. This reinforces the idea that heterosexuality is somehow better or more “right” than queerness, or ignores queerness as existing.


Initiatives such as intervention, policies and practices that have the potential to reduce the risk of someone experiencing homelessness. Also providing the necessary supports and resources to people already experiencing homelessness to help stabilize current housing, obtain new housing, and reduce the risk of recurrence. (Gaetz & Dej, 2017). 


Planned Parenthood (2018a) defines Homophobia as the fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. It can be focused inwardly as one begins to question their own sexuality. 


Refers to individual and organizational approach to consciously view everyone as an equal and include them, either individually or as a group, in discussions about issues, hear their experiences and recommendations, and offer participation in decision-making as appropriate (Government of Ontario, 2008). 


An analytic framework that attempts to identify how interlocking systems of power impact those who are most marginalized in society. Intersectionality considers that various forms of social stratification, such as class, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, disability and gender, do not exist separately from each other but are interwoven together (Cooper, 2015).


Individuals who define themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or two-spirited. It is widely understood that these individuals are at a greater risk of experiencing homelessness and social exclusion due to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, 2018).


The effort in ensuring that wherever a youth is placed, they are interacting with positive social relations who demonstrate and teach the youth to, for example effectively to communicate, handle stress, and develop positve skills.


The ability of a person to create conformity even when the people being influenced may attempt to resist those changes (Fiske, 1993; Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003). 


The individual who consults the host on a weekly basis to address their concerns, provide support, and if needed, mediation. The program coordinator is the host's main contact to ensure the success of the participants and the success of the host home program.


An attitude or theory that some human groups, socially defined by biological descent and physical appearance, were superior or inferior to other groups in physical, intellectual, cultural, or moral properties. It was clearly understood that “races” were socially defined, differently in different societies, but according to physical features  such as skin color, facial features, or hair texture. (Van den Berghe, 2007).


An inclusive environment where anyone can feel welcome, supported and comfortable expressing themselves as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) youth.


Planned Parenthood (2018b) defines sexual orientation as who one is attracted to and want to have relationships with. Sexual orientations include gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, and asexual.


The Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT) is an assessment tool for frontline workers at agencies to determine which clients experiencing homelessness should recieve assistance first.


Involves integrating existing, often disparate systems in such a way that focuses on increasing value to the customer (Vonderembse, Raghunathan, Rao, 1997).


The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation (Krug, Mercy, Dahlberg, & Zwi, 2002). 


A critical issue in Canada in which a youth aged 13 - 24 years old who is living independently of parents or caregivers due to issues such as family conflict and a lack of financial, social and emotional resources to get off the streets.  In addition to experiencing economic deprivation and a lack of secure housing, many young people who are homeless lack the personal experience of living independently and at the same time may be in the throes of significant developmental (social, physical, emotional and cognitive) changes. As a result, they may not have the resources, resilience, education, social supports or life skills necessary to foster a safe and nurturing transition to adulthood and independence (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, 2016).


Click on the icon to download the file (PDF version).