Homeless and Street Involved Youth

Homeless and Street Involved Youth Survey

Homeless and street-involved youth are among the most vulnerable populations in Canada and experience significant health inequities. McCreary Centre Society's Homeless and Street Involved Youth Survey (HSIYS) gathers information about the health of 12- to 19-year-olds who are homeless, precariously housed, or involved in a street lifestyle in British Columbia.

Core questions from McCreary’s school-based BC Adolescent Health Survey (BC AHS) are included on the HSIYS. Additional questions ask about the unique experiences of youth who are homeless, and include items about risk and protective factors for homeless and street-involved youth.

Experiential youth are involved throughout the process, from survey development and delivery to interpretation of the findings. Community agencies which serve homeless and street involved youth across BC are also instrumental in the survey development, administration, and dissemination of the findings.

The 2014 HSIYS captured information from 681 youth living in 13 diverse communities across BC between October 2014 and January 2015. This was the third time McCreary conducted this survey. Previous surveys were conducted in 2000 and 2006.

Reports

Our communities, our youth: The health of homeless and street-involved youth in BC

Download the report here.

This report shares findings from the 2014 HSIYS. It profiles the health of youth who are homeless, precariously housed, or involved in a street lifestyle, and describes not only the challenges in their lives, but also their continued engagement in school and community.

In addition to publishing reports of the findings from each survey, special-topic reports have been released following each survey.

Connections and Companionship: The health of BC youth with pets

This report examines the relationship between BC youth and their companion animals, using data from the 2014 HSIYS and the 2013 BC AHS. This report describes some of the benefits of pet ownership, including links to positive health and feelings of safety, but also identifies some of the associated barriers, such as accessing housing and health care.

Download the report here. Download the poster here.

Moving Upstream: Aboriginal Marginalized and Street-Involved Youth in BC

This report takes a closer look at the health of Indigenous youth who completed the 2006 HSIYS. It details the experiences of those Indigenous youth who completed the survey and also discusses the response to these findings of community stakeholders in the nine communities that participated.

Download the report here.

Next Steps

Next Steps workshops have been held following McCreary's Homeless and Street Involved Youth Surveys (HSIYS).

The Next Steps is a workshop series designed to take the results of McCreary surveys back to youth in participating communities.

Following the 2014 HSIYS, youth researchers who administered the survey across BC came together to pick out the key findings and create a workshop to them with youth.

Seven workshops were conducted with homeless and street involved youth in Nanaimo, Prince George, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Kelowna, and Surrey. Youth discussed the survey results, shared their perspectives on what was driving the results, and discussed ideas to improve the health of youth experiencing homelessness in their communities. Youth in each community then created clay-animation films documenting the issues they wanted to address.