Structural problems need structural solutions. Eva’s, and the youth who are part of Eva’s, can be a leading voice in the identification, prevention, and policy ideas to address the factors that are breaking down Black families and stranding kids in dead ends that include increased vulnerability to homelessness, joblessness, mental health and addiction issues, poverty, violence, high rates of incarceration, and police and state violence.
But to do this, Eva’s needs to invest in its internal capacity to evaluate its own programs and approaches, innovate accordingly, as well as to strengthen its partnerships and linkages with key Black researchers and homelessness policy hubs. Bringing its critical perspective and practical knowledge into dialogue with academic rigour will be a powerful impetus for Eva’s to burst into the space with irrefutable evidence of how change needs to take place.
“Addressing youth homelessness is preventative of all homelessness: the first instance of homelessness is a marker that can predict homelessness or precarity throughout their whole life: organizing around that particular issue is an important one.”
~ Key Informant Interview
We will build a program planning and evaluation/quality assurance framework which includes data collection tools and supporting systems with minimal implied burden to the youth we work with.
Using our own unique position in both the homelessness and youth sectors, and as a Black legacy and Black-focused organization, we will leverage our front-line experience and the knowledge of the youth who seek our support to infuse the focus of homelessness research and solutions with their expertise.
We will build out policy development capacity with appropriate technical skills, software, as well as academic links, ensuring that Eva’s becomes part of a nexus of Black-focused organizations that are go-to for viable and relevant solutions to policy issues and social problems.
We will define our zones of change as we build out a systems change framework to guide our positions, perspectives and tangible goals to prevent, address and draw attention to the barriers Black communities may face that lead to cycles of homelessness and precarious housing, poverty and social exclusion.
With this plan, Eva’s expressly joins a strong cohort of Black-focused agencies, policy hubs, services, researchers, and their allies. Eva’s will tread boldly and respectfully in this company, joining forces and working collaboratively toward common goals in a responsive, planned, staged and consultative manner.