Drugs, Homelessness & Health: Homeless Youth Speak Out About Harm Reduction

This report was published by the Shout Clinic.

HERE'S HOW THE AUTHORS DESCRIBE THIS REPORT:
Youth who are homeless in Toronto face many challenges, from meeting basic needs to navigating our complex service system, to finding housing and other supports to help stabilize their lives. These challenges are further complicated for youth who use alcohol or other drugs as they often face discrimination from service providers because of their substance use further marginalizing them from the very supports they need.

The Shout Clinic has a long history of providing services to youth who are not well served by the rest of the service system. As part of these efforts, the Shout Clinic has conducted a comprehensive new study that provides important information about the health needs and issues of Toronto youth who are homeless and use drugs. This research reinforces the critical role of harm reduction and other health and social services in supporting youth who are homeless, and recommends strategies to reduce barriers and improve access. The report also highlights the commitment that young people have to improving their own health and well being; a strength we need to build on.

The voices of youth are central to this report as they are the best storytellers of their own lives and experiences. The voices are clear and candid, creative and courageous. These are the voices that governments, funders, policy makers and service providers must listen to if we want to make progress in improving the lives and brightening the futures of this under-served group of youth in our community. 

Barnaby, L., Penn, R., & Erickson, P.G., (2010). Drugs, Homelessness & Health: Homeless Youth Speak Out About Harm Reduction. The Shout Clinic Harm Reduction Report. Retrieved from http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/homelessyou...

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