Current Initiatives

Organisational Changes to Address Homelessness: Lessons Learned from 3 Mid-sized Canadian Cities

(2020-2022, SSHRC Insight Grant)

Homelessness is growing in our smaller urban centers across Canada. Plans to end homelessness are increasingly prevalent, but we know little about how service organisations adapt to the substantial process changes brought about by these plans and their Housing First approach. This study will examine organisations’ responses to plans to end homelessness in three comparably sized cities with varying levels of progress along their local homelessness plans: Lethbridge, Alberta (AB), Kelowna, British Columbia (BC), and Sherbrooke, Quebec (QC).

 

The Impact of COVID-19 on Youth Homelessness & Service Provision

(2020-2021, Making the Shift)

Our broad goals are to produce:
1. A retrospective, structural / systems chronology of the Youth Coordinated Access Table from intent and form at onset through the pandemic, as well as lessons learned for future planning and for other jurisdictions interested in implementing a similar strategy
2. A parallel sense of how youth services evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic response, and the resulting impact on access and experience of youth at risk of or experiencing homelessness

 

Creating Allyship in Research

(2020-21, Enactus Canada in partnership with the John Dobson Foundation Faculty Advisor Research Grant)

The research project aims to chronicle the perspectives and strategies, from a lived experience lens, on how to genuinely integrate their ideas, perspectives and voices into the research process. Through the Kelowna Homelessness Research Collaborative (KHRC), lived experience involvement is being piloted as a co-researcher strategy in partnership with the Lived Experience Circle on Homelessness (LECoH) group based in Kelowna, BC.

 

Examining the effectiveness of integrated housing, mental health and addiction service models for youth experiencing homelessness

(2020-2024, Making the Shift)

A study aimed at assessing the effectiveness of Housing First for Youth (HF4Y) and integrated mental health and addiction (IMHA) services for youth (16-24) experiencing homelessness and experiencing concurrent mental health and substance use problems within Kelowna (and later Toronto) through interviewing which will include both quantitative and qualitative measures over a period of 2 years. The Kelowna study will be in partnership with the Foundry/CMHA Kelowna integrated mental health and addiction program.

 

Response to COVID-19 in Kelowna’s Homelessness Sector: A Brief Survey of Successes and Challenges

(2020-2021)

This study includes brief interviews conducted remotely with a range of service providers at organisations frequented by populations experiencing or at risk of homelessness (health services, shelters, outreach, etc.). Questions explore evaluations of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic so far, as well as current and potential supports moving forward. This information will help guide scope and structure of further research phases in support of service provision during COVID-19.

 

Homelessness Research in Kelowna: Journey Home Research Cluster

(2019-2022, UBC Eminence)

This study allows for an expansion of the Kelowna Homelessness Research Collaborative study through further examination of how new technologies can be harnessed to help end homelessness and the assessment of various social and health services innovations, with particular focus on the implementation of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) screening tool within community organizations. This implementation is to identify individuals making use of community services who may be suffering from a TBI and determine the prevalence of TBI in Kelowna’s homeless population. https://research.ok.ubc.ca/research-excellence/research-clusters/homelessness/ 

 

Addressing Homelessness in Kelowna: Establishing Participatory Action Research Priorities

(2019-2020, Vancouver Foundation Participatory Action Research Convene)

This study involves hosting a series of workshops between researchers, social serving agencies, and individuals with lived experience of homelessness to explore research possibilities that will lead to evidenced-based innovative programs that prevent homelessness among people who are at high risk of losing their homes. The foci of the workshops includes: 1) discussion of vulnerabilities that place people at risk of first episode of homelessness; 2) discussion of possible solutions to homelessness vulnerabilities; and 3) discussion of research opportunities and identification of research priorities that would address the issue of preventing homelessness.

 

Kelowna Homelessness Research Collaborative

(2019-2023, SSHRC Partnership Development Grant)

This study will (1) examine how new technologies can be harnessed to help end homelessness; (2) complete a community analysis/assessment of homelessness stigmatization in the Kelowna community; (3) and assess various social and health services innovations with Kelowna’s service providers in adopting a Housing First approach, thereby laying the groundwork for a coordinated systems response to homelessness.