What is The Upstream Project Canada?
The Upstream Project Canada is an innovative initiative aimed to prevent, rather than respond to, youth homelessness in Canada. Using a population-screening tool, the project identifies at-risk youth and connects them to supports that help them remain in school and maintain stable housing. Ultimately, the goals are to:
As the name implies, the best way to address youth homelessness is to work upstream to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Watch this animated video to gain a better understanding of how the project works.
IMPROVE STUDENT'S OVERALL AND MENTAL WELL-BEING
INCREASE SCHOOL ENGAGEMENT
DECREASE YOUTH HOMELESSNESS
The Upstream Project is the first of its kind in Canada; however, the project actually originates from Geelong, Australia.
This Australian predecessor, called The Upstream Project Australia, uses a collaborative approach known as the Community of Schools and Services (COSS) Model. This initiative is proven to be a groundbreaking early intervention program, which works with schools and community partners to identify youth at high-risk of becoming homeless.
For more information on The Upstream Project Australia, check out their website here.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
This infographic illustrates the program’s model:
Students complete a student needs assessment
The needs assessment identifies students who are at risk
Wrap-around supports and services are offered to these youth