Research Blog

Featured Researcher: Kyler Woodmass

Kyler Woodmass, MPIA

Associate Research Coordinator, KHRC

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born and raised in the Central Okanagan. I completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology locally at UBC Okanagan before pursuing a Masters of Public and International Affairs at York University in Toronto. I then returned to Kelowna, accepting a position with the Canadian Red Cross’ Volunteer Experience and Engagement team before transitioning to the Kelowna Homelessness Research Collaborative. I have held a number of Continue reading “Featured Researcher: Kyler Woodmass”

Featured Researcher: John Graham

John Graham, PhD RSW

Principal Investigator, KHRC

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

In the 1980s I worked in human services with street involved individuals with the Anglican Church, and then with ex-convicts with the John Howard Society. After graduating with an MSW, I was a psychiatric social worker at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (now CAMH) in the early 1990s. I completed a PhD at the University of Toronto, and am now in my 28th year as a full time academic. Formerly Director of the School of Social Work at UBC, I have held administrative posts at other universities. I have led the Kelowna Homelessness Research Collaborative since Continue reading “Featured Researcher: John Graham”

Supporting Sector Staff: A Case for a $25 Target Wage

Wages are consistently identified as a critical factor in recruiting, retaining, and supporting workers within the homelessness support sector. However, non-profits within our support sector must also stretch their finite grant funding as far as they can to maximize the number of vulnerable individuals supported by their programs. Raising wages across the sector will require a commitment to a new balance of resources shared across employer organizations as well as their grant writers and the funder organizations. This resource is intended to advance discussions related to this goal, and links to external resources that support the adoption of a $25 target wage within new grant applications and program renewals in the local sector (and, arguably, across communities). This target, above both the minimum wage and living wage rates, is in line with local evidence on cost of living and the overall objective of recruiting and retaining a strong, talented sector workforce. Continue reading “Supporting Sector Staff: A Case for a $25 Target Wage”

A Basic Income: Context & the Recommendations of the BC Basic Income Panel

Canada has a history of debate, discussion, and pilot programs related to Basic Income, with renewed interest following the Ontario pilot and again in 2020 in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Last year, the Canadian Emergency Response Benefits (CERB) program, targeting those with lost income, reached 35.2% of all Canadian workers who had earned at least $5,000 in 2019 (Statistics Canada, June 2 2021). Its mechanism of rapid disbursement and the unprecedented disruptions caused by the pandemic have seemingly solidified Basic Income within the mainstream of political and policy discussions. In addition to presenting new types and levels of economic challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many longstanding challenges within our social support sector. As groups seek to advance an equitable recovery moving forward (see, e.g., CAEH’s July 2020 “Recovery for All” report), advocacy and debate around these and related policies will surely continue.

Continue reading “A Basic Income: Context & the Recommendations of the BC Basic Income Panel”

Organizational Change in Human Service Organizations

In a recent publication, “Organizational Change in Human Service Organizations: A Review and Content Analysis”, KHRC researchers John Graham, Kyler Woodmass, Quinn Bailey, and Eric Li, with the assistance of Arielle Lomness, review the body of peer-reviewed work at the intersection of organizational change and human service organizations (including health services, human services, and social services) since 1968, in an effort to identify trends and present an overview of the discussed topics.

More specifically, our primary objectives were to: Continue reading “Organizational Change in Human Service Organizations”

Homelessness in BC’s Small- and Mid-Sized Communities

The 2016 Coordinated Point in Time Count (PiT count) marked the first time that communities across provinces and territories in Canada used a common approach when doing a homeless count. Policymakers were able to aggregate basic information on homelessness levels across 32 participating communities. This process was repeated in 2018, with 61 communities participating in Everyone Counts 2018, the second nationally coordinated PiT count. However, the federal summary reports do not report the results of the individual communities, and while the Homeless Hub endeavors to maintain Community Profiles on the Designated Communities (including their PiT Counts), data are typically available only as raw counts (c.f. rates comparable across communities). Additionally, the Designated Communities that receive funding through Reaching Home (Canada’s Homelessness Strategy; formerly the Homelessness Partnering Strategy / HPS) tend to be urban centres. Although some items discuss the topic of rural homelessness generally (see, for example, the items below), the addition of BC Housing-funded PiT counts represents a unique opportunity to explore the quantitative rates of homelessness in BC across communities of varying sizes moving forward. Continue reading “Homelessness in BC’s Small- and Mid-Sized Communities”

Achieving SDGs in the wake of COVID-19: Globally and Nationally


The impacts of COVID-19 on global, national, and local systems and citizens have presented challenges with regards to progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At a national level, Canada’s contributions have been highlighted in the Continue reading “Achieving SDGs in the wake of COVID-19: Globally and Nationally”

Addressing Poverty – Developments at the Local, Provincial, and Federal Level


Addressing poverty is a complex challenge requiring both targeted and coordinated action across levels of government, in addition to knowledge to guide and evaluate the interventions that are implemented. Recent developments suggest a shared prioritization of this issue, Continue reading “Addressing Poverty – Developments at the Local, Provincial, and Federal Level”

Checking the Research to Inform Best Practices: Vaccinating those Experiencing Homelessness


The following is not intended to present official guidance of COVID vaccinations. For your local health information in BC, refer to your local health authority. For other regions, please refer to the federal info page on COVID-19.


COVID-19 represents a public health crisis on a scale not seen in most lifetimes. This ongoing challenge had its own unique medical and logistical contexts that have challenged policy makers and program planners every step of the way. As we quickly ramp up our vaccination efforts, Continue reading “Checking the Research to Inform Best Practices: Vaccinating those Experiencing Homelessness”

Fitting the “Service Box”: Unintended Consequences of Funding and Service Dynamics


The social support sector in our community – and in countless others – is faced with a daily challenge of stretching a finite and limited amount of essential resources to help as many community members as possible. This emergency response to a sustained crisis requires Continue reading “Fitting the “Service Box”: Unintended Consequences of Funding and Service Dynamics”