Webinar recording: International webinar series on Housing First: Housing First for youth

About the webinar

On May 2, 2023, EENet hosted a webinar titled, "International webinar series on Housing First: Housing First for Youth." EENet, the Canadian Housing First Network and the Housing First Europe Hub co-presented this third edition of the international Housing First webinar series.

Youth experiencing homelessness have particular needs that require the adaptation of Housing First to meet those needs. Research from Canada and Europe on adaptations of Housing First was presented in this webinar.

Download the webinar slides (PDF) and view the video recording


Stephen Gaetz, President & CEO of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, one of his key projects is the Homeless Hub, an innovative web-based research library internationally recognized as a leading example of innovation in knowledge mobilization. In 2016, Dr. Gaetz was awarded a Research Impact (Connection) award by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and in 2017 he received the honour of Member of the Order of Canada.


Ahmad Bonakdar is the Managing Director of Research, Making the Shift (MtS) Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) housed at York University. Dr. Bonakdar oversees the implementation of MtS Demonstration Projects including a Randomized Controlled Trial of the Housing First for Youth (HF4Y) program in Toronto and Ottawa. 

Karen McAlister is a Social Worker, working for nearly 20 years in children's rights before moving to work in the homelessness sector with Simon Community NI. Spending 5 years as Head of Children and Family Services, Karen now leads Simon Community’s Research and Development work. Karen and her colleagues set up Northern Ireland's first HF4Y service.  

Lisa O'Brien is the South & South East Youth Services Manager at Focus Ireland. She has worked with Focus Ireland for more than 15 years. During that time, she set up and managed a variety of services across the South East including Housing, Education and Employment, A&I, Housing First and Youth Services. Currently, she manages Youth Services across the Southeast of Ireland. In 2015, she launched one of the first HF4Y (Housing First for Youth) projects in Europe in Waterford. O'Brien is also a founding and active member of FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless) Youth Network and an observer member of the FEANTSA  administrative council representing the Youth Network. She works closely with the European Housing First Hub in designing and delivering training in HF4Y across Europe. 

About the organizers

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Canadian Housing First Network - Community of Interest

The Canadian Housing First l Network – Community of Interest (CHFN-COI) assists communities across Canada to develop, evaluate, and improve Housing First (HF) programs based on the Pathways model tested, adapted, and shown to be effective in the At Home  / Chez Soi Demonstration Project.

The CHFN-CoI (formerly the Ontario Housing First Regional Network Community of Interest (OHFRN-CoI)), consist of HF champions, HF programs across Canada, policy-makers planners, managers, service providers, researchers, and persons with lived experience, including representatives from the housing, health, and justice sectors and Indigenous housing and support providers.

The CHFN is hosted by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) and Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Housing First Europe Hub

The Housing First Europe Hub was established in 2016 by the Y-Foundation (Finland) and FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organisations Working with Homeless People) along with more than 15 partners.  Since then, the Hub has grown to include more than 37 organizations, cities, government ministries, housing providers and researchers from across Europe and beyond.

The Hub works in partnership with core and associate partners to promote Housing First as the first and central response to homelessness.

Evidence Exchange Network

Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) is part of the Knowledge Mobilization portfolio in the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s (CAMH) Provincial System Support Program (PSSP). EENet moves evidence to action to improve programming and inform policy change.

Our team works closely with researchers, clinicians, policymakers, system planners, service providers, and people with lived experiences to mobilize knowledge and help people connect with each other.

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