The goal of Here and Now: The Winnipeg Plan to End Youth Homelessness is to develop the shared vision, action framework, and grounding principles needed for effective systems’ integration, policy and program alignment, and collaboration between all community stakeholders. Together we seek to reduce and end youth homelessness through a community sanctioned strategy that provides youth and their families with what they need to thrive.
The story of this plan begins with the experiences of youth on the streets of Winnipeg. For the vast majority, homelessness was not a choice but the result of structural, system and family breakdowns. Youth homelessness is a complex social issue with dire consequences for youth, our neighbourhoods and communities. Yet, we know today that youth homelessness is preventable.
Local youth-serving agencies have been cooperating to address the needs of youth for decades and began working on a collaborative model that builds on the strengths and knowledge of all stakeholders in the fall of 2014.
Globally, the strategy is nested in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Nationally, the plan joins in solidarity with dozens of cities currently developing and implementing plans to end youth homelessness in Canada. Locally, the following document aspires to embody growing community mobilization efforts that seek to understand and address the enduring legacy of colonization and the meaning of reconciliation in Winnipeg and Manitoba.
This plan intends to serve as a guide for government, funders and community members committed to ending youth homelessness. By setting a common direction that is grounded in the principles of reconciliation we point to new policy integration, funding processes, programs development, principles, and community priorities.
The strategy is intended to be a living document, one that is regularly revised to guarantee relevance to the emergent and changing needs of youth in our community. This is only the first step of a collective movement.
The time is now.