The Host Homes initiative is designed to divert youth who are at risk of homelessness from the shelter system. The core client group are youth at risk of or experiencing homelessness. These youth are facing homelessness due to a variety of reasons including:

  • family conflict,

  • poverty,

  • systems failures,

  • gender identity,

  • sexual orientation


Host Homes not only prevents homelessness but also diminishes potentially harmful disruption in the educational and social life of youth. In addition, without family support, youth often face difficulty navigating social assistance.


The options for a youth Host Homes recipient include:

  • Reuniting with family members to move back into the family home. This is the goal of the program and if it is in the best interest of the youth, there are specific supports aimed at restoring this family.

  • Accessing alternative government or organization support models to allow the youth to live in a relatively stable environment.

  • Accessing supportive housing models to live independently or with friends.

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It is important to highlight that Host Homes is not a foster parent program. Youths who participate in this program have not formally, or in the eyes of the government, cut ties with their parents or primary caregivers.


In most cases, the youths within the program are still involved with their parents and not formally emancipated from their families so this delegation would be a transfer from the parent to the host. This delegation of guardianship does not mean that the host is legally or financially responsible for the youth. It may, however, allow the host to make decisions and sign documents that the youth may need for school, medical services or other situations that may arise.  


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