KHRC Community Reports and Summaries

KHRC is committed to communicating our research findings for all to use. Therefore, in addition to our academic Publications & Presentations we will continue to add to our below collection of community resources. Our Research Blog is another source of plain language summaries for select topics.

 

Allyship in Research

The Allyship in Research Toolkit provides researchers and practitioners with a framework to embed lived and living experience, and allyship, into their work. The toolkit describes ways to incorporate authentic participation into the entire research process or program development process, identifies strategies for engaging in a co-research/con-construction process, and outlines the benefits of practicing in this way. To accompany the toolkit, Creating Allyship in Research videos (short and long versions) are available that provide insight from those with experience in the area of homelessness – from service providers to those with lived experience of homeless – highlighting why allyship in research is needed. This toolkit was drafted by KHRC Co-Investigators Kyleen Myrah and Kerry Rempel, and KHRC’s Director of Operations Stephanie Laing.

 

Homelessness Vulnerabilities and Potential Mitigating Supports

In the early months of 2020, members of the Kelowna Homelessness Research Collaborative (KHRC) and co-researchers from the Lived Experience Circle on Homelessness (LECoH) held a series of focus groups in Kelowna to talk about two important questions: 1) what events or circumstances put individuals at risk of becoming homeless, and 2) what could be done to lessen risk of homelessness? This was followed up by an online event in the fall of 2020 to engage both service providers and local academics in a discussion of potential community based projects to inform and address the identified vulnerabilities. The below summaries were prepared by Kerry Rempel, Dr. Kyleen Myrah, Stephanie Laing, and Kyler Woodmass, with the support of our our Lived Experience Co-Researchers, Sherry W. Landry and Dorothy Goodeye.

 

Supporting Sector Wages

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. This work was supported by Kyler Woodmass.

 

Addressing Homelessness in Smaller Cities

Earlier this year, undergraduate and graduate students within the Interdisciplinary Studies program at UBCO (Bethany Presley, Adam Kunis, Luz-Marina Roberts, Gaby Heschuk, Denae Weighill, Ayla De Grandpre, Echo Wang, Mitchell Gillette, Ayla Winston & Miranda McMullin), under the supervision of KHRC Investigator Dr. Jon Corbett (also Director of the Institute for Community Engaged Research) consulted with the Social Planning Council for the North Okanagan on opportunities for collaborative research that would contribute to the ongoing effort to address homelessness in the region. The first phase to that end was to conduct a literature review aimed to investigate domestic and international community homelessness strategies to identify a range of effective, actionable, and affordable homelessness projects and interventions for consideration. This report highlights a “menu” of fifteen different successful projects ranging from housing plans, investing, technology implementation, community involvement, strengthening services to infrastructure.

 

Rates of Homelessness in BC and Canada

Below represents an introductory commentary on sources of quantitative data on homelessness in Canada and in BC, possible metrics of successful community access, and initial considerations and limitations with existing data, collected by KHRC’s Associated Research Coordinator, Kyler Woodmass.

 

COVID-19: Interventions and Potential Impacts

Social, Economic, and Political Impacts of COVID-19

At the start of 2021, KHRC research staff conducted a brief snapshot of documented and forecasted impacts resulting from the pandemic, summarized by our Research Assistant Navreen Bilkhu and Associated Research Coordinator Kyler Woodmass:

Homelessness and Vaccinations

As a part of ongoing work to review peer-reviewed literature at the intersection of homelessness and pandemics (or other highly contagious illnesses like TB, influenza, etc.), KHRC conducted a brief scan of prior research and recommendations related to vaccination efforts applicable those experiencing homelessness or other “hard-to-reach” / “easy-to-miss” populations. This summary was extracted by Kyler Woodmass, based on the broader journal article (see KHRC Publications) advanced by Dr. Jordan Babando, Danika Quesnel, Arielle Lomness, and Dr. John Graham.

 

 

Poverty in the Okanagan

The State of Poverty (Policies & Data)

This overview presents a brief, non-exhaustive, semi-chronological guide to existing and planned data and policy on addressing poverty, at a federal level, at a provincial level within British Columbia, and at a regional level within the Central Okanagan. Summarized by Kyler Woodmass.