EQUIP Housing: Enacting Culturally Safe Housing Stability for Indigenous Youth Finding Home

Project description

This project is exploring the value of the EQUIP model in preventing and ending Indigenous youth homelessness. By engaging Indigenous research and participatory implementation methods, we are adapting and testing an evidence-informed model of equity-oriented approaches in order to prevent homelessness and support sustained exits to housing. We seek to confront the current reality that Indigenous youth are over-represented among youth experiencing homelessness.

Our Values

  1. Authentic collaboration inclusive of Indigenous and non-Indigenous expertise
  2. Anti-racism
  3. A commitment to Indigenous research principles, OCAP, and Western University’s ‘Guidelines for Working with Indigenous Community Members


This project adapts an equity-oriented model from primary health care to homelessness prevention and response in order to transform service delivery and remove barriers for Indigenous youth.

Where the Intervention Will Take Place

Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) is a multi-service organization that helps lead youth in London and Middlesex County toward success. YOU believes that investing in youth and strong communities go hand in hand, and knows that many youth need guidance and support to reach their potential. Approximately 3,600 youth between the ages of 16-30 access the system of supports available at YOU each year. Whether they are in need of basic needs and housing, access to physical, mental or dental health care, or education and employment supports, YOU services are designed to help youth lead positive lives.

YOU’s Mission: YOU supports youth to build skills, confidence and independence to reach their potential.

YOU’s Vision: A community where youth are embraced and will thrive.

YOU’s Values: In all that we do, we remain accountable, collaborative, compassionate, courageous, innovative and persistent.

Our Team

Name Institution Project Role
Abe Oudshoorn Western University PI
Vicki Smye Western University Co-PI
Bill Hill Parkwood Institute Co-I
Kristy Buccieri Trent University Co-I
Susana Caxaj Western University Co-I
Carrie Marshall Western University Co-I
Joyla Furlano Western University Co-I
Nadine Wathen Western University Co-I
Marilyn Ford-Gilboe Western University Co-I
Riley Kennedy Western University Collaborator
Steve Cordes Youth Opportunities Unlimited Collaborator
Max Doucet Youth Opportunities Unlimited Collaborator
Amy Van Berkum Western University Research Coordinator
Emelia Cormack Western University Research Fellow
Sarah Palmer Youth Opportunities Unlimited Community Co-Researcher
Rachel Radyk Head & Heart Fellowship Research Fellow
Miranda Plain Head & Heart Fellowship Research Fellow

The Process

The project is unfolding in 4 phases: Exploration, Installation, Early Implementation, Full Implementation. The goal is to adapt the EQUIP model to an Indigenous youth homelessness and housing context, understand the needs of youth and YOU, and provide the appropriate tools needed for effective adoption of the model. We are being supported in the process by a Youth Indigenous Council, an Indigenous Community Co-Researcher, and a local Indigenous youth mentor and expert.

Funding Acknowledgement

This work is funded by Making the Shift, a member of the Networks of Centres of Excellence Canada Program. Making the Shift is funded by the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence program. The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.