The Potential to Expand REST Centres’ Bridge of Hope Program

Hub Solutions collaborated with REST Centres to evaluate the feasibility of expanding their Bridge of Hope (BoH) program and develop an extension model framework for making REST the primary lease holder.

Client

REST Centres

Roles

Literature review
Comparator scan
Review of public housing and BIPOC data
Consultations with community members and stakeholders

Deliverables

Recommendations and Framework

About the Project

We partnered with REST Centres, a Black-led organization, to evaluate their Bridge of Hope (BoH) program aimed at supporting BIPOC youth ages 16 to 24 facing homelessness. Our research focused on the program’s effectiveness and potential expansion, including the feasibility of REST becoming the primary lease holder. Information was gathered through in-depth semi-structured interviews.

What We Did

We developed an in-depth semi-structured interview questionnaire and conducted sessions via Zoom and telephone. Our questions centered on evaluating the current efficacy of BoH and exploring the feasibility of program expansion. Our objective was to gain insights into participants’ views on program outcomes, its impact on BIPOC youth, and suggestions for enhancement. Participants were recruited from the following:

  1. REST Centres’ service users/BIPOC youth.
  2. REST Centres staff.
  3. Landlords.
  4. Community partners.

We used a constructive grounded theory (CGT) to analyze our data, which generates new theories by identifying themes and patterns, also known as in inductive analysis, in the collected data. This allowed us to be more open and flexible in including and understanding participants’ experiences and positive impact of BoH.

We categorized participants’ responses into two categories: Current BoH program and BoH expansion. Each category was then divided into Strengths/Successes, Challenges, and Opportunities and Recommendations. With this information, we developed recommendations and a framework for expanding BoH’s program.

...

Results

Based on each categorization of participant responses, our findings conclude that:

  1. Strengths/Success: BoH’s strengths lie in its holistic, human rights-based, trauma-informed, and client-centered approaches, facilitating collaboration between youth and landlords to meet their needs effectively.
  2. Challenges: Youth and staff expressed concern about the insufficiency of rent and grocery subsidies provided by the program, potentially resulting in precarious living conditions and indicating the necessity for increased and extended subsidies. Furthermore, some landlords exhibit a lack of boundaries towards youth and lack the education and experience in supporting those experiencing homelessness (including addressing issues of racism and discrimination).
  3. Opportunities and Recommendations: Participants urged REST to maintain existing programs while adding components like increased visibility, expanded mental health, faith-based, and peer-support services, as well as integrating a combined transitional and supportive housing model. There is widespread support for REST becoming the primary lease holder.

For BoH to expand, a holistic operational model should be adopted and regulated by the Project Advisory Committee (PAC), requiring infrastructure, staff, funding, training, and community programs; REST should largely maintain existing interventions while considering enhancements such as intake applications for youth, collecting demographic data for BIPOC youth, and implementing a matching process for housemates.

Ready to get started?