The Youth Action Hub conducts rigorous scientific research that has direct implications for policies and practice to end youth homelessness.

Our approach to research is collaborative and community-based.

We work closely with partners across the state to identify areas of inquiry that are key to ending youth homelessness. Our partners are representatives of organizations and institutions across Connecticut that are working together to ending youth homelessness in Connecticut by 2020. The statewide coalition is called the Reaching Home Campaign Youth and Young Adult Homelessness Work Group. For more information, read the Opening Doors for Youth Plan and learn who are members of the workgroup.

Our research findings are immediately discussed and used by our partners to change policies and practice toward increasing identification of unstably housed youth in schools and communities, improving young people’s access to services and resources, and developing and evaluating effective interventions and housing models for young people who are experiencing homelessness/housing instability.

We use mixed-method research.

In our research, we use both quantitative (e.g., surveys) and qualitative (e.g., interviews, focus groups) research methodologies.  Mixed-method research intentionally combines quantitative and qualitative research methods to draw on the strengths of each.  Using multiple methods allows for a complete understanding of a problem. It offers a systematic way to assess the magnitude and frequency of a problem as well as to understand how system policies and practices affect individuals, communities and the problem as a whole.

We apply systems thinking and social-ecological models to our research.

We utilize different types of research modeling to further our understanding of the dynamic relationships among various personal and environmental-system factors that drive both individual and community outcomes. The term “ecological” refers to the world that surrounds people. Solving complex social problems, such as youth homelessness, requires examining young people in real-life context to understand their lived experiences and to determine how best to change the ecological factors (policies, institutional practices, social supports, etc) to address their housing instability and improve their lives.