Engaging Homeless Youth in Community-Based Participatory Research: A Case Study From Skid Row, Los Angeles

  • Garcia A
  • Minkler M
  • Cardenas Z
 et al. 
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Abstract

Growing evidence highlights the benefits to youth of involvement in community-based participatory research. Less attention has been paid, however, to the contributions youth can make to helping change health-promoting policy through such work. We describe a multi-method case study of a policy-focused community-based participatory research project in the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles, California, where a small group of homeless youth worked with adult mentors to develop and conduct a survey of 96 homeless youth and used the findings to help secure health-promoting policy change. We review the partnership's work at each stage of the policy-making process; its successes in changing policy regarding recreation, juvenile justice, and education; and the challenges encountered, especially with policy enforcement. We share lessons learned, including the importance of strong adult mentors and of policy environments conducive to sustainable, health-promoting change for marginalized youth. © 2013 Society for Public Health Education.

Author-supplied keywords

  • child/adolescent health
  • community-based participatory research
  • health research
  • partnerships/coalitions
  • public health laws/policies

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Authors

  • A.P. Garcia

  • M. Minkler

  • Z. Cardenas

  • C. Grills

  • C. Porter

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