Young people, aged 16-30, who had been raised rurally in three counties in south-east Ontario (Haliburton County, City of Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough County) were recruited through youth-serving agencies and social networks in the catchment area, including the City of Toronto as a migration destination. Youth self-described as ‘insecurely housed’, which was broadly defined to include transience that is appropriate to this life-stage. As a consequence, a very broad spectrum of risk-of-homelessness is included within the data.
A Stakeholders’ Research Advisory Group comprised of senior members of the geographic and service community provided oversight of the research project from the outset. They facilitated recruitment of participants, were actively involved in initial analysis of the narrative data, and promoted dissemination of findings.
Forty-eight youth were individually interviewed between September and December, 2012, to co-create narratives which are attributed to names chosen by them. The interviews were ‘direct scribed’, i.e. interviewer typed conversation verbatim, and both interviewer and interviewee were free to edit the data as it appeared on the monitors. Youth received hard or electronic copy and had seven days to make additional changes. They were paid $40 cash for the interview, and related expenses on negotiation.
Following a collaborative analysis of the 48 narratives in January, 2013, an additional three focus groups and a series of key informant interviews were undertaken to address outstanding questions. A final report to the funder was submitted in October 2013, and a number of public presentations to a variety of audiences have taken place and are planned.
It was considered that the narratives might be useful data beyond the constraints of this particular research project, and we had permission of participants to use them for other purposes - education and training specifically mentioned - in keeping with the intent of the original research. The decision was taken to make the data available in its entirety on a searchable website. The data were re-edited to maintain anonymity in this more contextualized presentation; notice of this broader use of the data and the re-edited versions were made available to participants.