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Housing, Homelessness and Poverty
In 2014, an estimated 137,000 people, or about one in 208 Canadians aged 18 or older, stayed in an emergency homeless shelter. While addictions and mental illness can contribute to homelessness, evidence suggests that the majority of people who resort to using homeless shelters do so because they are poor. Public policies that reduce the cost of housing for those with low income would reduce these numbers and reduce the number of Canadians who annually experience the debilitating effects of homelessness.A high proportion of rent-to-income is a key contributor to homelessness. People who find that rent eats up so much of their income that they can’t afford other necessities will often try their luck doubling up with relatives or friends or temporarily using a city’s shelter system. Anything that influences the rentto-income ratio – from income support programs, to tax policies affecting the costs of new construction and the costs of maintaining or rehabilitating old buildings, to zoning and density restrictions – will therefore have a significant influence on the rate of homelessness. Recognizing this opens a wide range of policy options and exposes all levels of government to the responsibility for initiating useful policy reforms.Modest efforts to increase housing affordability via rent subsidies and enhanced income support have the advantage over the construction of public housing of maximizing choice and flexibility for those to whom assistance is provided. If the great majority of people experiencing homelessness do so because of poverty, it may be best to address that issue directly with increased levels of income support.
11/15/2018 - 09:46
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“I want to be able to show everyone that it is possible to go from being nothing in the world to being something”: Identity as a Determinant of Social Integration
Compared to the vast amount of literature on what drives young people to homelessness and what keeps them there, there is notably less empirical evidence on the experiences of young people who have left the streets and attempted to integrate into the mainstream. Over the course of ten months, we followed nine young people from Canada's largest city – Toronto, Ontario – who had exited street life and were living independently. In this paper, we discuss how the participants attempted to carve out new identities and how these identities were challenged. We argue that it is crucial to incorporate identity into the way social integration is conceptualized and facilitated for young people attempting the daunting task of transitioning away from homelessness.
11/14/2018 - 09:52
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From Housing Market to Human Right: A View from Metro Vancouver
For a growing number of Canadians, particularly those in large cities like Metro Vancouver, the housing market is broken. At its core, this is a problem of financialization—the treatment by many actors of housing primarily as an investment, rather than a place to live. The current discussion of housing as a human right should challenge that proposition. In particular, I would like to comment on two core aspects of the National Housing Strategy, both of which need to be shored up: a major build-out of non-market housing; and a more coherent housing and income support in the form of the Canada Housing Benefit.
11/14/2018 - 09:47
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Changing Through Relationships and Reflection: An Exploratory Investigation of Pre-service Teachers’ Perceptions of Young Children Experiencing Homelessness
One in 30 American children experience homelessness, and yet educators are often unaware of the challenges these students face. Drawing on a qualitative study of 21 pre-service teachers (PSTs) interviewed at the completion of their early childhood/ESL teacher education program, the overall purpose of this study was to ascertain PSTs’ reported attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and self-identified skills for working with young homeless children in schools with the goal of identifying opportunities for teacher education programs to better prepare PSTs for work with children experiencing homelessness. Findings suggest that PSTs enter teacher preparation with many misconceptions about children and families experiencing homelessness. Incorporating specific information about homelessness into coursework and supervision, nurturing PSTs’ capacity for critical self-reflection, and creating opportunities for PSTs to develop positive teacher–student relationships with children experiencing homelessness were identified as essential in fostering PST self-efficacy, and, by extension, the resilience of homeless children. By illuminating the processes through which PSTs make sense of children’s experiences of homelessness and its impacts on schooling, these findings have important implications for the education of young children and the design of professional development opportunities and structured learning for preservice teachers.
11/07/2018 - 13:36
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2018 Regina Homelessness Count
The Regina Point-in-Time count took place on April 18th, 2018. Over 230 volunteers and 50 community parnters took part in varying capacities. The following report provides the results and findings of the Count.
11/07/2018 - 13:31
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Who's Hungry: A Profile of Hunger in Toronto 2018
Since 2005, the Who’s Hungry report has provided an annual update on the state of food security in our city. The report is a commitment to share what we see and what our clients experience with our community, other service providers, and policymakers. By continuing this research every year, we are able to understand how hunger has grown and changed in Toronto.We invest in research that brings together data and the lived experience of our clients across the city to better understand the realities and causes of hunger. We make this research a priority as part of our commitment to not only provide food and immediate assistance but also help reduce the poverty that causes hunger.The report draws on both quantitative and qualitative research. Data on food bank use comes from Daily Bread and North York Harvest Food Banks’ member agencies. We also surveyed food bank clients at 34 locations across the city from late February to mid-April 2018 to learn more about their experiences.This report is their story, and the story of many others experiencing hunger across Toronto.
11/07/2018 - 13:17
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Improving Hospital Discharge Arrangements for People who are Homeless: The Role of Specialist Integrated Care
In England, 70% of people who were homeless on admission to hospital were discharged back to the street without having their care and support needs addressed (Department of Health, 2013).  Furthermore they experienced high hospital readmission rates and often resorted to inappropriate use of the Emergency Department. Following these data,  Government funding was provided to enable hospitals to work with local partners to develop specialist integrated homeless hospital discharge schemes, including intermediate or step-up/step-down care. In this paper we report preliminary findings from a realist evaluation which explored the effectiveness of the different schemes established. Schemes took many different formats, and tended to be either uniprofessional, comprising housing workers, or multi-professional, comprising: GPs; occupational therapists; nurses; social workers; housing workers; and peer navigators
10/31/2018 - 13:00
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Homelessness in Manitoulin-Sudbury: 2018 Enumeration
The Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board required the completion of an enumeration project. The enumeration is linked to the objectives of the Province of Ontario to end homelessness in Ontario and, specifically, to end chronic homelessness by 2025. The enumeration in 2018 is intended to help Service Managers and the Ministry of Housing to better understand the extent and nature of homelessness and to guide policy and program design.
10/31/2018 - 12:57
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Meeting in the Middle: Engagement Strategy & Action Plan
Meeting in the Middle Engagement Strategy and Action Plan was co-created to foster better relationships between the City of Toronto Shelter Support and Housing Administration (SSHA) Division and Indigenous organizations. Our vision is to meaningfully address Indigenous homelessness in Toronto by addressing the City of Toronto’s Statement of Commitments to Aboriginal Communities. To further our work, we look to the ‘ethical space’ framework for relationship-building. Willie Ermine describes ‘ethical space’ as a space,“formed when two societies, with disparate worldviews, are poised to engage each other. It is the thought about diverse societies and the space in between them that contributes to the development of a framework for dialogue between human communities”.We acknowledge that engaging in this ‘ethical space’ can be awkward and sometimes uncomfortable. Through the process of relationship-building, we strive to ensure that this space is never so uncomfortable that one group fails to see the benefit of moving forward together. In so doing, we are ‘meeting in the middle’ and exploring new ways to understand and appreciate our differences.
10/31/2018 - 12:46
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Poverty Trends 2018
According to the annual Poverty Trends 2018 report, 5.8 million people in Canada live in poverty. The report includes a breakdown of poverty rates by province and territory (noting that Nunavut has the highest national rates), and a breakdown of the demographic groups most affected by poverty including children and single-parent families. The report concludes with an analysis of Canada's new national poverty reduction strategy in light of the trends for poverty in 2018.
10/31/2018 - 12:24
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The Role of a Housing Support Worker for Women
Solving homelessness involves moving women from homeless to home. Many women have the capacity and resources to independently navigate from a crisis of homelessness to being re-housed within a short period of time. However, for other women, due to the complexities of their lives, challenges they face, and ways that systems have disadvantaged and discriminated against them, some degree of support is required in their journey out of homelessness. For those with the greatest support needs, intensive case management with ongoing in-home support through Housing First has proven to be the most effective for long-term housing and health outcomes. Housing First program support usually consists of at least four roles: outreach, case management, housing selection, and housing support. The purpose of this resource is to explore the housing support worker (HSW) role for those who identify as a woman and are experiencing homelessness.
10/25/2018 - 13:10
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Food Insufficiency is Associated with Depression Among Street-Involved Youth in a Canadian Setting
Food insufficiency, defined by the experience of hunger, is known to be prevalent and a source of health-related harm among-street involved youth, but little is known about its relationship with depression in this population. Therefore, we sought to assess the association between food insufficiency and symptoms of depression among a cohort of street-involved youth.
10/25/2018 - 12:03
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Nanaimo's Action Plan for Ending Homelessness 2018 - 2023
Nanaimo’s Action Plan to End Homelessness, 2018-2023 is the result of the collective research and voices of the Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition. The Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition is made up of non-profit societies, representatives from the three levels of government, faith groups and community members who have an interest in developing and carrying out solutions to homelessness. Building on the significant work invested in previous homelessness plans, the Coalition hired Springbok Consulting to conduct interviews and collaborate with the Coalition to develop this Action Plan.
10/25/2018 - 11:42
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Everyone Counts: 2018 Guelph-Wellington Point-in-Time Count
The 2018 Guelph-Wellington Point-in-Time Count included an enumeration of individuals experiencing homelessness living unsheltered, emergency sheltered, temporarily sheltered (i.e. couch surfing), and in unknown locations. The count was conducted over a three-day period in Guelph and over a seven-day period in Wellington County. Volunteers and staff from the homeless-serving system conducted an in-person survey, the results of which were used to estimate the characteristics of the local population experiencing homelessness. Information collected from the survey is also used to inform local service delivery, target resources, and fulfill provincial reporting requirements. This report provides important background information, covers the count methodology, including challenges and limitations, and shares the overall findings, as well as findings from specific sub-populations. The information is meant to provide a snapshot of homelessness in our community at a specific point-in-time and should be used to inform service provision, resource allocation, and target setting toward ending homelessness.
10/25/2018 - 11:35
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Preventing Youth Homelessness: An International Review of Evidence
In recent years there has been a notable shift in policy and scholarship towards preventing youth homelessness. In response to the shortcomings of reactive policy, countries around the world are developing, implementing, and evaluating ways to reduce the likelihood that any young person will become homeless. In the context of a global shift towards prevention, this international review identifies evidence-based interventions, promising practices, youth-identified prevention priorities, and intersecting policy elements contributing to the prevention of youth homelessness. The evidence review is guided by the following questions:  Which policies and programmes are effective in preventing youth homelessness? What are the characteristics of effective strategies to prevent youth homelessness? This report draws upon a careful assessment of this evidence base to develop a set of recommendations to divert young people from experiences of homelessness effectively. 
10/25/2018 - 03:00
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No Vacancy: High Rent. No Vacancy. Growing Homelessness
In 2016, No Vacancy: Affordability and Homelessness in Vancouver provided a point in time snapshot of the growing affordability crisis within the City of Vancouver. By examining structural factors such as vacancy rates at low-end-of-market, cost of average rent, available income, cost of living, social housing built, and rent supplements provided, No Vacancy concluded that within the then-current environment, “homelessness [would] continue to grow without addressing these key structural issues.” The most recent point-in-time homeless counts, along with updated data on vacancy rates throughout Metro Vancouver suggest this to be the case. Low-income families, specifically single-parent families, are faced with a stagnant supply of affordable housing options and low vacancy rates, contributing to an increasing level of unaffordability. Due to this reality, much of this report focuses on the challenges low-income families encounter when trying to secure appropriate housing. With the crisis spreading, calling Metro Vancouver home is only getting harder.
10/17/2018 - 12:20
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A Modelling Study Exploring the Impact of Homelessness on Rostered Primary Care Utilization in Calgary, Canada 
For patients who belonged to physician rosters at a family medicine practice in the core of Calgary, Canada, we compared primary care utilization for those who were stably housed and those experiencing homelessness. In the context of an inner-city primary care clinic in Calgary, Canada, homelessness status is associated with an increased rate of visits to primary care. This work has implications for public health and health systems decision-makers involved in developing equitable health policy, as well as for frontline care providers who serve this vulnerable population.
10/17/2018 - 11:47
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Durham 2017 PIT Count Report
On February 15th-17th, 2017 Community Development Council Durham (CDCD) and Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS), in collaboration with numerous partners, conducted Durham’s first Point-in-Time (PiT) Count. With the assistance of 150 volunteers, those who were experiencing sheltered or unsheltered homelessness, or were provisionally accommodated in a public institution or transitional shelter, were surveyed, enumerated or tallied. The results of the PiT Count provide a snapshot of the minimum number of people experiencing homelessness in Durham Region and provides community members and decision makers with additional data to help inform funding and policy decisions. In addition, the results of the PiT Count establish a benchmark against which progress can be measured when future PiT Counts are conducted.
10/16/2018 - 19:48
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Cowichan Valley Regional District Summer Point-In-Time Homeless Count and Housing Needs Survey
The purpose of a Point-in-Time Count (PiT) is to obtain a snapshot of people who are absolutely homeless in a community during a set timeframe – usually limited to 24 hours to avoid counting some people twice. The summer 2017 homeless count took place in the Cowichan Valley Region on August 15 and 16 over a 24-hour period. Count sites were located in the Duncan-North Cowichan core area, Ladysmith, Chemainus, Lake Cowichan and Mill Bay. The Count was promoted under the heading of You Count! Count Yourself In. A Housing Needs survey was also undertaken with people who were experiencing Hidden Homelessness and people at risk of homelessness.
10/16/2018 - 19:35
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Comox Valley Point-In-Time Count Report
In 2016, the Government of Canada conducted a nation-wide Point in Time Count (PiT Count) to look at homelessness trends across Canada for the first time. Information gained through the count is used to identify themes, challenges and characteristics of homelessness across the country and helps to inform service needs at a local, provincial and federal level. The PiT Count is intended to provide a snapshot of the minimum number of people who are homeless in a community over one 24-hour period. The Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness, in partnership with United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island, participated in this count in the Comox Valley on April 12th, 2016 using the National PiT Count methodology.
10/16/2018 - 19:33
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Dufferin County 2018 Point-In-Time Homeless Count
The Dufferin County 2018 Point-in-Time (PiT) Count included an enumeration of individuals experiencing homelessness living unsheltered, emergency sheltered, temporarily sheltered (i.e. couch surfing), and in public locations. The count was conducted by volunteers and staff from the homeless-serving system over a two day period, May 14th and May 15th 2018, throughout the County of Dufferin. This report provides important background information, covers the count methodology, including challenges and limitations, and shares the overall findings as well as findings from specific sub-populations. It includes a discussion section and some recommendations for next steps. This information is meant to be a snapshot of homelessness in Dufferin County at a specific point-in-time. It should be used to help inform service provision, resource allocation, and target setting toward ending homelessness in our community. The results of the Count also fulfill provincial and federal reporting requirements, as well as to help create a Dufferin County By-Name List (BNL) which will inform referrals to housing supports and services within the region.
10/16/2018 - 19:30
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Everyone Counts: 2018 Guelph-Wellington Point-In-Time Count
The 2018 Guelph-Wellington Point-in-Time Count included an enumeration of individuals experiencing homelessness living unsheltered, emergency sheltered, temporarily sheltered (i.e. couch surfing), and in unknown locations. The count was conducted over a three-day period in Guelph and over a seven-day period in Wellington County. Volunteers and staff from the homeless-serving system conducted an in-person survey, the results of which were used to estimate the characteristics of the local population experiencing homelessness. Information collected from the survey is also used to inform local service delivery, target resources, and fulfill provincial reporting requirements. This report provides important background information, covers the count methodology, including challenges and limitations, and shares the overall findings, as well as findings from specific sub-populations. The information is meant to provide a snapshot of homelessness in our community at a specific point-in-time and should be used to inform service provision, resource allocation, and target setting toward ending homelessness.
10/16/2018 - 19:21
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Homelessness in Nanaimo: 2018 Point-in-Time Count
The nationally coordinated 2018 PiT Count was funded through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) and involved the collaboration of over 60 HPS-funded communities across Canada. The Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition, Nanaimo Region John Howard Society (NRJHS), and United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) organized the second consecutive HPS PiT Count in Nanaimo. The count was held on April 18th, 2018. The Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition, formed in 2015, includes a number of non-profit agencies, government bodies, faith groups and residents of the community. The Coalition was preceded by the ‘Nanaimo Working Group on Homelessness’ which has been working to reduce homelessness in Nanaimo since 2001. The name change from ‘Working Group’ to ‘Coalition’ reflects a more proactive approach to the development and implementation of programs and services for the homeless
10/15/2018 - 10:30
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Everyone Counts: St John's Homeless Point-in-Time Count 2018
On April 11, 2018, End Homelessness St. John’s (EHSJ) conducted its second biennial Point-in-Time (PiT) Count of the community’s homeless population, titled ‘Everyone Counts’. The initiative, in partnership with Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH), provides a snapshot of the minimum number of people experiencing homelessness on a single day in St. John’s. This includes persons staying in emergency, private and transitional shelters; individuals sleeping outside, in their vehicles, or abandoned buildings (e.g., rough sleepers/unsheltered homeless); those temporarily staying at someone else’s place (e.g., couch surfers); or persons in institutions with no permanent or stable housing. With funding from HPS, the City of St. John’s, and United Way NL, EHSJ conducted its 2018 Count to gain a broader understanding of the nature of homelessness in St. John’s, and included a special focus in this Count on persons experiencing homelessness within the province’s correctional institutions. The 2018 Count determined that at least 165 people were experiencing homelessness on the night of April 11, 2018, with 9% incarcerated in provincial correctional institutions. As noted, this represents the minimum number of those experiencing homelessness, as many individuals in precarious housing situations are not visibly homeless (i.e., couch surfers, rough sleepers), and are thus undercounted. The Count represents the tip of the iceberg, however: during the course of a year, EHSJ estimates that approximately 800 people experience homelessness in St. John’s2 . The Count also affirms that homelessness is not a choice; while all respondents faced barriers in obtaining housing, not wanting permanent housing was not one of them.
10/12/2018 - 12:58
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At Home in Winnipeg: Localizing Housing First as a Culturally Responsive Approach to Understanding and Addressing Urban Indigenous Homelessness
Winnipeg is a mid-sized prairie city. Its roots run deep in the community, with a strong sense of resiliency and hope among the agencies that work tirelessly to support those in need. The manner in which Winnipeg’s community responded to increasing levels of homelessness over the last decade forms the basis of the analysis presented in this report. In particular, the objective is to examine the At Home/Chez Soi (AHCS) project and how a number of organizations came together to launch a transformative approach to addressing homelessness for those struggling with mental health issues. Our specific focus is on how local capacity was built and structured to undertake was has been called the largest demonstration project of its kind in the world (Macnaughton et al., 2010). The Winnipeg approach was distinct and involved the inclusion of Indigenous practices to deliver Housing First (HF). This report has a particular focus on how a unique governance model emerged out of partnerships among community-based organizations, government, researchers, and others who collaboratively strengthened local capacity while ending homelessness.
10/10/2018 - 13:49
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The Implementation of a Rent Assistance Program and Its Impacts on Recovery Outcomes for Individuals Experiencing Chronic Homelessness
This study explored the experiences of persons experiencing chronic homelessness with and without rent assistance. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 12 participants in order to determine if and how rent assistance impacted participants’ narratives of recovery. These narrative interviews, along with a focus group conducted with 10 support workers, explored implementation factors impacting recovery narratives. The findings suggest that access to rent assistance helps to promote recovery outcomes, conceptualized as life transitions (streets to home, home to community, and past to future), among individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. These transitions were enhanced by various participant, program, and community factors.
10/10/2018 - 13:38
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Ending Poverty in Edmonton: Year One Progress Report (2017- 2018)
Game Changers are the larger actions, made up of smaller ones spread across the community, that will have the net result of essential and radical change for those experiencing poverty. The Game Changers are: 1. Eliminate Racism 2. Livable Incomes 3. Affordable Housing 4. Accessible & Affordable Transit 5. Affordable & Quality Child Care 6. Access to Mental Health Services & Addictions Support The EndPovertyEdmonton Secretariat is reporting on progress across the movement by Game Changer. We want to speak to what’s working (and what isn’t), in order to address our work to eliminate poverty. The Secretariat does this work as a backbone to the EPE movement.
10/10/2018 - 13:30
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2018 Youth Homeless Count In Metro Vancouver 
The methodology for the 2018 Youth Homeless Count differed from a traditional Point-in-Time (PiT) homeless count approach by carrying out data collection over the course of nine days, rather than 24 hours. This new method was designed to provide more opportunities to make contact with youth experiencing homelessness across the region. The focus of data analysis for the 2018 count was to explore the different circumstances of youth experiencing homelessness who identified as Aboriginal/Indigenous and those who did not, specifically to assist with funding allocation and service provision in the region
10/10/2018 - 13:28
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10th ANNUAL Report Card on Homelessness for Nelson, BC
This 10th Annual Report Card on Homelessness for Nelson (JUNE 2018) will bring the reader a better understanding of those who are homeless and at risk of homelessness, what contributes to homelessness in our community and what we can and are doing about it. It is designed to both encourage questions and inform solutions.
10/07/2018 - 12:33
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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Lifetime Prevalence of Homelessness in the United States
Homelessness in the United States is often examined using cross-sectional, point-in-time samples. Any experience of homelessness is a risk factor for adverse outcomes, so it is also useful to understand the incidence of homelessness over longer periods. We estimate the lifetime prevalence of homelessness among members of the Baby Boom cohort (n = 6,545) using the 2012 and 2014 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative survey of older Americans. Our analysis indicates that 6.2 % of respondents had a period of homelessness at some point in their lives. We also identify dramatic disparities in lifetime incidence of homelessness by racial and ethnic subgroups. Rates of homelessness were higher for non-Hispanic blacks (16.8 %) or Hispanics of any race (8.1 %) than for non-Hispanic whites (4.8 %; all differences significant with p < .05). The black-white gap, but not the Hispanic-white gap, remained significant after adjustment for covariates such as education, veteran status, and geographic region.
10/03/2018 - 12:22
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Raising Canada: A Report on Children in Canada, Their Health and Well-Being
The purpose of this brief report is to paint a high-level picture of children in Canada, and their health and wellbeing, using readily available, reputable sources of data. We begin by describing the current population of children across Canada and trends over time. Do we have more or fewer children in Canada now compared to the past? What about the future? Which parts of the country do they live in? The report then turns to the health and wellbeing of our children. What do we know about the health status of children in Canada, both mental and physical? What about key social determinants of health, given their importance to health and wellbeing? How does Canada compare to other countries with similar standards of living?
10/03/2018 - 11:57
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2018 Affordable Housing Budget Expenditure Highlights in Canada 
2018 has seen a significant amount of change and investment in social, non-profit, and affordable housing across the country. In the context of a dynamic and changing housing policy framework across the country, this report examines the commitments made by provinces and territories in their respective 2018-2019 budgets and highlights recent housing announcements and initiatives underway within specific provinces and territories. Although it is not meant to be exhaustive of all measures and policies directly impacting the social, non-profit, and affordable housing sector, the aim of the report is to provide a snapshot of budgetary and related housing developments thus far in 2018, and where possible, offers a glimpse into expected high level housing policy developments in each jurisdiction. It should also be noted that in November 2017 the federal government released the National Housing Strategy, which contained $40 billion in investments in affordable housing over the next 10 years. A number of measures contained in the Strategy require cost-matching from provinces and territories. In April 2018, federal, provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for housing (with the exception of Québec) endorsed a multilateral Housing Partnership Framework. Bilateral agreements have begun to be signed, which will specify how provinces and territories will deliver and cost-match federal funds for National Housing Strategy programming.
10/03/2018 - 11:48
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Vancouver Homeless Count 2018
As the following report by Urban Matters documents, the City of Vancouver’s 2018 point-in-time homeless count found 2,181 people homeless in Vancouver on March 14, 2018, with 1,522 people sheltered and 659 on the street. While the total number represents only a 2% increase from last year, it is nonetheless the highest number since the first regional homeless count in 2005, signaling a continuing and growing concern about the welfare of Vancouver residents who are marginalized and about how we respond to homelessness in our city. The report highlights that people who identify as Indigenous continue to be vastly overrepresented in homelessness in Vancouver. In 2018, the City’s collaboration with Lu’ma Native Housing Society and the Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee on a coordinated count provided opportunities to explore new methods of engagement and to learn from our partners. For a comprehensive analysis of Aboriginal/Indigenous homelessness, please refer to the report on Aboriginal Homelessness – 2018 Count in Metro Vancouver. The count also shows that approximately one-half of respondents had been homeless for less than one year. This statistic points to the fluidity of homelessness. The fact that someone becomes homeless does not necessarily mean they will continue to be. The support people find to access social and supportive housing is vital to ensure that pathways out of homelessness are available to all.
10/03/2018 - 11:35
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Two-Eyed Seeing of Indigenous Homelessness in Halton: A Community Needs Assessment
This is the second report arising from the Indigenous Homelessness Needs Assessment and Knowledge Sharing Project (the project) led by Halton Community Legal Services (HCLS). We conducted interviews with 12 people who selfidentified as Indigenous and were experiencing, or had experienced, homelessness in Halton Region. This report documents these interviews to help address the knowledge gap around the needs of the low-income Indigenous population in Halton as they relate to homelessness and the risk of homelessness. HCLS is a community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario. The project is being undertaken in the spirit of reconciliation, recognizing that HCLS plays an integral role in the provision of legal services and access to justice for Indigenous people in Halton Region. The Indigenous Homelessness Needs Assessment and Knowledge Sharing Project is part of HCLS’s effort to enhance its services to meet the unique needs of the Indigenous community in Halton. The project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy, Legal Aid Ontario and the Advocacy Centre for Tenants-Ontario.
09/28/2018 - 12:54
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Host Homes Handbook: A Resource Guide for Host Home Programs
Short-term host homes are an intervention for youth who are currently experiencing homelessness for any variety of reasons, including but not limited to family conflict, poverty, gender identity and sexual orientation. The goal of short-term host homes is to provide a safe, temporary, welcoming space for up to six months where the young person has time to repair their relationships with self-identified family or make decisions about other housing options with the support of a caring housing case manager. Successful implementations of short-term host homes have generally been volunteer-based programs, with stays lasting from three to six months; however, other successful implementations addressing community needs have existed in the short-term housing system. Providing short-term host homes are a cost-effective and successful model for preventing youth homelessness in a wide range of cases.
09/26/2018 - 14:43
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Homes For B.C.: A 30-Point Plan for Housing Affordability in British Columbia
In September 2018, the Government of British Columbia announced a new provincial budget which includes a comprehensive housing plan and record levels of capital investment. This housing plan, called Homes for B.C., aims to make affordable housing more accessible and allocates funding to address homelessness across the province.
09/26/2018 - 13:17
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The Experiences of Adolescents and Young Adults Residing With Their Families in Emergency Shelters in Canada 
Emergency homeless shelters can be stressful environments for families. They can be associated with emotional distress and feelings of restriction for parents, and with behavioural, social, and developmental challenges for children. However, little is known about the experiences of accompanied youth residing in shelter with their families, as the literature about this age group's experiences of homelessness has mainly focused on unaccompanied youth. Findings from the current study are drawn from qualitative interviews with 16 adolescents and young adults (aged 16–21) who were homeless and living with their families in family homeless shelters in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Youth described family homeless shelters as stressful environments but also found that the shelters provided support to them and their families. Youth discussed the various strategies they used to cope in facing the challenges of shelter life. These findings add to our understanding of youth who are homeless and highlight the ways in which they adapt to the challenges of living in a family homeless shelter with their families. Recommendations are included for ways that shelter staff and policymakers can enact operational and systemic changes that could potentially improve the experiences of such youth and their families.
09/26/2018 - 10:44
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Indigenous Housing Caucus Day: Highlights Report 2018
Indigenous Housing Caucus Day takes place annually in conjunction with the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association's annual Congress on Housing and Homelessness. Caucus Day 2018 centered on coming together and having a national voice to assist in highlighting priorities for the forthcoming federally-supported Indigenous Housing Strategies. Delegates traveled from across the country, coming from diverse backgrounds and brought a wealth of leadership and capacity experience in sharing ideas and solutions to move urban, rural, and northern Indigenous housing forward.
09/26/2018 - 10:37
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Westside (West Kelowna) Point-in-Time Count 2018 Report
On Monday July 23rd, 2018, the City of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation coordinated with community agencies and volunteers to conduct the Westside’s first-ever Point-in-Time (PiT) Homeless Count. The 2018 Point-in-Time Count is a significant step towards better understanding homelessness on the Westside. It provides valuable information about the individuals experiencing or struggling with homelessness in the community. In addition to important data on living conditions, the 2018 PiT Count allowed the City of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nations as partnering agencies to build and foster relationships with service providers and improve the capacity to conduct PiT Counts in the future. The lessons learned from the 2018 count will inform future counts and housing initiatives on the Westside.
09/19/2018 - 13:05
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Making the Shift Year One Report
Making the Shift (MtS) is a multi-year, multi-phase project, with many moving parts. But it is more than that; Making the Shift is a reimagining of our response to youth homelessness through social innovation in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for young people. Making the Shift is a partnership between A Way Home Canada (AWHC) and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) with the support of MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (MaRS). This work is intended to support a monumental shift away from the current system of responding to youth homelessness through a crisis response and instead, move towards a system that values prevention and moving young people out of homelessness quickly, with all of the supports necessary for wellness and healthy transitions to adulthood. It is crucial to understand that obtaining housing for vulnerable young people is not the “be-all-end-all” of this work – rather, it’s about supporting and encouraging young people to become healthy adults at their own pace. This is how we will make real, lasting change.  To read the complimentary report, Funding Services for Homeless Youth in Canada: Review and Recommendations, click here.
09/17/2018 - 14:06
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Funding Services for Homeless Youth in Canada: Review and Recommendations
The response to homelessness is growing more sophisticated. Communities are recognizing that homeless youth differ from homeless adults and are beginning to reshape their services to reflect that fact. Many are seeking an end to homelessness rather than just mitigation of its harm. Some are collecting data and managing performance. The most advanced communities are pushing for a funding regime that respects their expertise. The federal government, the provinces and the territories fund providers to deliver homeless services. These central funders sometimes fund specific projects by specific providers. They sometimes pay providers a daily rate based on occupancy, known as a per diem (emergency shelters are often paid per diem). They sometimes channel money to communities and allow communities discretion over how to distribute the money. The third method is gaining ground, as illustrated by the federal government’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy, Ontario’s Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative and Alberta’s Outreach Support Services Initiative. To read the complimentary Making the Shift Year One Report, click here.
09/17/2018 - 13:31
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"Here We're Home": The WestEnd Commons Housing Model with Subsidized Supports 
In the context of a severe housing shortage facing low-income renters in Winnipeg and across Canada, WestEnd Commons is an innovative project that includes a 26-unit social and affordable housing complex in a low-income neighbourhood in Winnipeg’s inner city. This three-year case study explores how WestEnd Commons has influenced the lives of the residents, and what lessons can be learned from this particular model. It is clear that WestEnd Commons has had positive impacts on the families residing there. A key feature of WestEnd Commons is the range of social supports provided to residents. While there are challenges that this paper identifies, WestEnd Commons has nevertheless produced significant benefits for its residents. These include: housing stability, stronger social networks, reduced isolation, improved mental health, increased food security, labour market attachments, and increased financial stability. Each of these is significant, and in tandem they bolster families living on low incomes to better cope with the complex poverty they experience. The findings that arise from this three-year study make clear the importance of good quality social and affordable housing for people living on low incomes, and the necessary range of supports that enable them to thrive.
09/12/2018 - 10:14
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A National Study of Indigenous Youth Homelessness in Canada
This study was designed to address the need for more detailed information about Indigenous homeless youth, a group overrepresented in the homeless population, using a national-level data set. Overall, such findings reinforce calls for Indigenous-specific interventions for these populations—including policy-driven prevention initiatives to address the legacy of colonization.
09/12/2018 - 10:07
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Homelessness in Nanaimo: 2018 Point-in-Time Count 
The nationally coordinated 2018 PiT Count was funded through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) and involved the collaboration of over 60 HPS-funded communities across Canada. The Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition, Nanaimo Region John Howard Society (NRJHS), and United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) organized the second consecutive HPS PiT Count in Nanaimo. The count was held on April 18th, 2018. The Nanaimo Homelessness Coalition, formed in 2015, includes a number of non-profit agencies, government bodies, faith groups and residents of the community. The Coalition was preceded by the ‘Nanaimo Working Group on Homelessness’ which has been working to reduce homelessness in Nanaimo since 2001. The name change from ‘Working Group’ to ‘Coalition’ reflects a more proactive approach to the development and implementation of programs and services for the homeless
09/12/2018 - 09:56
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"The One Thing That Actually Helps". Art Creation as a Self-Care and Health Promoting Practice Amongst Youth Experiencing Homelessness. 
Arts-based programming has increasingly been offered to youth experiencing homelessness in various service settings, often grounded in the belief that this type of programming can promote mental wellness and recovery, social inclusion, and life skills. Despite the ubiquity of such programs, there is limited research on the impacts and value of arts creation for youth who are homeless. Drawing on 23 in-depth interviews with youth experiencing homelessness and staff at a large youth homeless shelter, this study explores the importance, meanings, roles, and effects of art creation and art-based programming in the lives of youth who are homeless. Analysis identified five key ways that youth experiencing homelessness use the arts to cope with adversity and create meaning, including to: manage mental health challenges; cope with stress and homelessness; recover from trauma and create ‘safe spaces’; explore, express, and discover themselves; and develop positive self-esteem and hopefulness for the future. Findings revealed the complex and highly personal ways through which youth strategically use art creation as a self-care and health-promoting practice. These findings demonstrate the importance of developing arts-based interventions that employ a positive youth development approach and support youth's own self-care and meaning-making practices. Implications for practice and policy are discussed, including the need for art programs to build upon the positive arts-based practices youth are already employing in their efforts to improve their health, pursue their goals, and empower themselves.
09/05/2018 - 14:00
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Bullying at School and on the Street: Risk Factors and Outcomes Among Homeless Youth
Though rates of bullying among general population youth are high, there is elevated prevalence among certain subgroups, in particular sexual minority homeless youth. Enduring bullying can have devastating consequences, including poor mental health, revictimization, and substance abuse. The current study compares risk factors (i.e., sexual orientation, gender, and child abuse) for being bullied both at school and on the street among homeless youth. We also examine the associations of both contexts of bullying (i.e., at school and on the street) with physical and sexual victimization while on the street, with illicit drug use. From July 2014 to October 2015, we interviewed 150 homeless youth aged 16 to 22 years in shelters and on the streets from two Midwestern cities. Our sample was 51% female and 22% identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB). Results revealed that LGB youth experienced more frequent bullying at school and were more likely to have ever used one or more illicit drugs at least a few times compared with heterosexual youth. Moreover, youth who experienced more child abuse prior to leaving home were also victimized more often at school (school bullying) and on the street (street bullying). Young people who experienced more sexual and physical street victimization were more likely to report illicit drug use compared with those who had fewer street victimization experiences. Overall, youth who experience victimization in one context (i.e., home) are at heightened risk for being bullied in additional contexts (i.e., school). These findings have important policy and service intervention implications, such that service providers should attend to homeless youth’s multiple social contexts of victimization and the potential for youth’s illicit drug use as a coping mechanism.
09/05/2018 - 13:57
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Beloved Community Village: Collorado Village Collaborative Evaluation Findings
From July 2017 - April 2019, the University of Denver's Burnes Centre on Poverty and Homelessness conducted a comprehensive evaluation of Colorado Village Collaborative's Beloved Community Village. The village is a tenant-led "tiny home" community for people experiencing homelessness.
09/05/2018 - 13:44
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State of the Homeless 2018 (New York): How the City and State Can Tackle Homelessness by Bringing Housing Investment to Scale
New York City reached a grim new milestone at the close of 2017: Last December, an average of 63,495 men, women, and children slept in City homeless shelters each night – an all-time record. To put this in context, only nine cities in the entire state of New York have populations larger than New York City’s sheltered homeless population. Three-quarters of New Yorkers sleeping in shelters are members of homeless families, including 23,600 children. An 82 percent increase in homelessness over the past decade speaks to the severe shortage of affordable housing – fed by the combination of rising rents and stagnating incomes – along with devastating policy decisions that have limited access to affordable and supportive housing for homeless and extremely low-income New Yorkers.
09/05/2018 - 13:38
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Aboriginal Homelessness Count in Metro Vancouver 2018
The 2018 Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Homeless Count (Count) is a 24-hour snapshot of Aboriginal Peoples who were homeless in the Metro Vancouver region on March 14, 2018. It also included people staying overnight in homeless shelters and those using homelessness services on the day of the Count. The purpose of the Aboriginal Homeless Count is to estimate the number of Aboriginal people who are homeless in the Metro Vancouver region, obtain a demographic profile of this population, and identify trends compared to previous counts. This current information will be used in the Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee (AHSC) Community Plan update. Since 2002, homeless counts have been conducted across Metro Vancouver every three years. This is the first year the Federal government ran a dedicated Aboriginal count without appending it to a larger count. This dedicated Count required a rethinking of the overall methodology. This is discussed in detail later in the report.
09/05/2018 - 13:28
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Whitehorse PiT Count 2018
For 24-hours, starting on April 17, 2018, the Yukon Planning Group on Homelessness and the Council of Yukon First Nations conducted its second Point-in-Time Count in Whitehorse, Yukon. This count was part of a broader initiative to measure homelessness across Canada, coordinated by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy. More than 60 communities conducted Point-in-Time Counts between March and April 2018.
08/29/2018 - 16:55
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Health Care for the Homeless Transgender Community: Psychiatric Services and Transition Care at a Student-Run Clinic
Transgender individuals disproportionately experience homelessness and health disparities, including lack of access to gender- affirming care. The student- run Lotus Wellness Center provides care to transgender individuals experiencing homelessness, including primary care, mental health stabilization, and transition via hormone therapy, while medical students learn of the unique health needs of this community.
08/29/2018 - 15:51
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Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy
The Government of Canada has been focused on growth that benefits Canadians and investments that help develop the middle class and reduce poverty. Every Canadian deserves a real and fair chance to succeed, no matter where they live or where they come from. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has made significant investments for children, seniors, lower-wage workers and other vulnerable Canadians that are having immediate impacts on reducing poverty and making a difference in the lives of Canadians.
08/29/2018 - 14:48
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Navigating Complex Implementation Contexts: Overcoming Barriers and Achieving Outcomes in a National Initiative to Scale Out Housing First in Canada
The scaling out of Housing First (HF) programs was examined in six Canadian communities, in which a multi-component HF training and technical assistance (TTA) was provided. Three research questions were addressed: (a) What were the outcomes of the TTA in terms of the development of new, sustained, or enhanced programs, and fidelity to the HF model? (b) How did the TTA contribute to implementation and fidelity? and (c) What contextual factors facilitated or challenged implementation and fidelity? A total of 14 new HF programs were created, and nine HF programs were sustained or enhanced. Fidelity assessments for 10 HF programs revealed an average score of 3.3/4, which compares favorably with other HF programs during early implementation. The TTA influenced fidelity by addressing misconceptions about the model, encouraging team-based practice, and facilitating case-based dialogue on site specific implementation challenges. The findings were discussed in terms of the importance of TTA for enhancing the capacities of the HF service delivery system-practitioners, teams, and communities-while respecting complex community contexts, including differences in policy climate across sites. Policy climate surrounding accessibility of housing subsidies, and use of Assertive Community Treatment teams (vs. Intensive Case Management) were two key implementation issues.
08/22/2018 - 11:41
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Compensating Research Participants: A Survey of Current Practices in Toronto
In health and social research, individuals and communities are invited to contribute to research by sharing their experiences through interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Honoraria and incentives are used throughout health and social science research but there is debate about whether and how to compensate research participants. The Tri-Council Policy Statement, which outlines ethical considerations and guidance for research involving humans in Canada, alerts researchers to the need to carefully weigh the use of incentives against any potential harms for participants in research (TCPS, 2014). Beyond this, however, there is a lack of publicly available practical guidelines to support researchers and research ethics boards when making difficult decisions about participant compensation. It is common for researchers to pay participants, despite the absence of formal guidance on how to compensate participants and what amounts are appropriate. As a result, payment practices vary. Research has been conducted in Australia and the United States to understand how researchers compensate participants (Ripley et al. 2010; Fry et al., 2005). To date this work has not been done in Canada. To respond to this gap, this report outlines the results of our recent survey of the types and amount of compensation that health researchers are providing to participants in the Greater Toronto Area. The companion think piece identifies current debates in the literature and key considerations for ensuring payment practices are fair and inclusive. Together, this work provides insight into current health and social research compensation practices in Toronto and identifies emerging good practices for paying research participants in a fair and inclusive way that researchers and research ethics boards can consider when making decisions about research compensation (see “Fair & Inclusive Compensation for Research Participants: A Guideline”).
08/22/2018 - 11:25
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Compensating Research Participants: A Survey of Current Practices in Toronto
In health and social research, individuals and communities are invited to contribute to research by sharing their experiences through interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Honoraria and incentives are used throughout health and social science research but there is debate about whether and how to compensate research participants. The Tri-Council Policy Statement, which outlines ethical considerations and guidance for research involving humans in Canada, alerts researchers to the need to carefully weigh the use of incentives against any potential harms for participants in research (TCPS, 2014). Beyond this, however, there is a lack of publicly available practical guidelines to support researchers and research ethics boards when making difficult decisions about participant compensation. It is common for researchers to pay participants, despite the absence of formal guidance on how to compensate participants and what amounts are appropriate. As a result, payment practices vary. Research has been conducted in Australia and the United States to understand how researchers compensate participants (Ripley et al. 2010; Fry et al., 2005). To date this work has not been done in Canada. To respond to this gap, this report outlines the results of our recent survey of the types and amount of compensation that health researchers are providing to participants in the Greater Toronto Area. The companion think piece identifies current debates in the literature and key considerations for ensuring payment practices are fair and inclusive. Together, this work provides insight into current health and social research compensation practices in Toronto and identifies emerging good practices for paying research participants in a fair and inclusive way that researchers and research ethics boards can consider when making decisions about research compensation (see “Fair & Inclusive Compensation for Research Participants: A Guideline”).
08/22/2018 - 11:24
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Compensating Research Participants: A Survey of Current Practices in Toronto
In health and social research, individuals and communities are invited to contribute to research by sharing their experiences through interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Honoraria and incentives are used throughout health and social science research but there is debate about whether and how to compensate research participants. The Tri-Council Policy Statement, which outlines ethical considerations and guidance for research involving humans in Canada, alerts researchers to the need to carefully weigh the use of incentives against any potential harms for participants in research (TCPS, 2014). Beyond this, however, there is a lack of publicly available practical guidelines to support researchers and research ethics boards when making difficult decisions about participant compensation. It is common for researchers to pay participants, despite the absence of formal guidance on how to compensate participants and what amounts are appropriate. As a result, payment practices vary. Research has been conducted in Australia and the United States to understand how researchers compensate participants (Ripley et al. 2010; Fry et al., 2005). To date this work has not been done in Canada. To respond to this gap, this report outlines the results of our recent survey of the types and amount of compensation that health researchers are providing to participants in the Greater Toronto Area. The companion think piece identifies current debates in the literature and key considerations for ensuring payment practices are fair and inclusive. Together, this work provides insight into current health and social research compensation practices in Toronto and identifies emerging good practices for paying research participants in a fair and inclusive way that researchers and research ethics boards can consider when making decisions about research compensation (see “Fair & Inclusive Compensation for Research Participants: A Guideline”).
08/22/2018 - 11:24
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Evaluation of the Home Visiting Pilot for Pregnant and Parenting Youth in Care: FY 2018 Preliminary Report
In January 2015, the Home Visiting Task Force, a standing committee of the Illinois Early Learning Council, established a Home Visiting-Child Welfare Sub-Committee to design and implement a Home Visiting Pilot Program that would serve pregnant or parenting youth in foster care. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services contracted with Chapin Hall to conduct an implementation and outcome evaluation of the program. This report presents preliminary results from that evaluation.
08/22/2018 - 10:55
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Kamloops, B.C. Everyone Counts: 2018 Point-in-Time Count Report
The 2018 PiT Count is partially funded by the Government of Canada’s HPS. This is the second time that the HPS has provided funding to conduct a nation-wide PiT Count and the first time the City of Kamloops has participated. Through a call for applications issued to the community in September 2017, two coordinators were contracted to coordinate the count—an Indigenous Engagement Coordinator and a Point-in-Time Count Coordinator
08/22/2018 - 10:47
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Kamloops, B.C. Everyone Counts: 2018 Point-in-Time Count Report
The 2018 PiT Count is partially funded by the Government of Canada’s HPS. This is the second time that the HPS has provided funding to conduct a nation-wide PiT Count and the first time the City of Kamloops has participated. Through a call for applications issued to the community in September 2017, two coordinators were contracted to coordinate the count—an Indigenous Engagement Coordinator and a Point-in-Time Count Coordinator
08/22/2018 - 10:47
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Kamloops, B.C. Everyone Counts: 2018 Point-in-Time Count Report
The 2018 PiT Count is partially funded by the Government of Canada’s HPS. This is the second time that the HPS has provided funding to conduct a nation-wide PiT Count and the first time the City of Kamloops has participated. Through a call for applications issued to the community in September 2017, two coordinators were contracted to coordinate the count—an Indigenous Engagement Coordinator and a Point-in-Time Count Coordinator
08/22/2018 - 10:46
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Naloxone Risk Assessment Tool
BC is currently experiencing a public health emergency related to the unprecedented increase in opioid overdoses across the province. Many organizations are assessing whether their staff should carry or stock naloxone in the event employees, clients, or members of the public experience an overdose. This assessment provides tools for decision making including a template, a reporting template, and background information on naloxone and the public health emergency response.  Resources are provided for public and non-public sectors organizations.
08/21/2018 - 09:53
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National Right To Housing Strategy Act - Draft Legislation
Draft legislation prepared by legal scholars and civil society experts that offers suggestions on how the right to housing could be incorporated into the proposed National Housing Strategy legislation, consistent with international human rights law, and including mechanisms through which people affected by homelessness and inadequate housing can bring complaints about systemic violations and require the government to respond.
08/15/2018 - 14:16
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Open Letter on the Right to Housing
At a press conference in Ottawa on August 14, advocates released an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed by over 170 organizations and prominent Canadians urging the Prime Minister to make good on his commitment to the right to housing by enshrining that right in upcoming National Housing Strategy legislation. The letter was penned by Amnesty International Canada, Campaign 2000: End Child and Family Poverty in Canada, Canada Without Poverty, the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, housing and homelessness researcher Emily Paradis, and the Social Rights Advocacy Centre. Supported by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, the letter outlines key requirements of right to housing legislation consistent with international human rights law. The letter also refers to draft legislation prepared by legal scholars and civil society experts that offers suggestions on how the right to housing could be incorporated into the proposed National Housing Strategy legislation, consistent with international human rights law, and including mechanisms through which people affected by homelessness and inadequate housing can bring complaints about systemic violations and require the government to respond.
08/15/2018 - 14:09
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Addressing Intersecting Housing and Overdose Crises in Vancouver, Canada: Opportunities and Challenges from a Tenant-Led Overdose Response Intervention in Single Room Occupancy Hotels
We examined the acceptability, feasibility, and implementation of the Tenant Overdose Response Organizers program (TORO)—a tenant-led naloxone training and distribution intervention. This pilot project was implemented in privately owned single room occupancy (SRO) hotels that were disproportionately affected by overdose in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighborhood. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 tenants who had participated in a TORO training session and administered naloxone to someone in their SRO hotel or had overdosed in their SRO hotel and received naloxone from another tenant. Focus groups were conducted with 15 peer workers who led the TORO program in their SRO building. Interviews and focus groups were transcribed and analyzed thematically. Ethnographic observation at SRO hotels involved in the intervention was also co-led with peer research assistants. Ten SROs were included in the study. The level of acceptability of the TORO program was high, with participants describing the urgency for an intervention amid the frequency of overdoses in their buildings. Overdose response training enhanced participants’ knowledge and skills, and provided them a sense of recognition. Additionally, the TORO program was feasible in some buildings more than others. While it provided important training and engaged isolated tenants, there were structural barriers to program feasibility. The implementation of the TORO program was met with some successes in terms of its reach and community development, but participants also discussed a lack of emotional support due to overdose frequency, leading to burnout and vulnerability. Our findings suggest that the TORO program was affected by social, structural, and physical environmental constraints that impacted program feasibility and implementation. Despite these constraints, peer-led in-reach overdose response interventions are effective tools in addressing overdose risk in SROs. Future housing interventions should consider the intersecting pathways of overdose risk, including how these interventions may exacerbate other harms for people who use drugs. Further research should explore the impacts of environmental factors on overdose response interventions in other housing contexts.
08/15/2018 - 14:04
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The State of Homelessness in Australia's Cities: A Health and Social Cost Too High 
Since 2010, Australian homelessness services, largely operating in the inner city areas of Australian cities, have undertaken interviews with over 8,000 people sleeping rough or otherwise homeless in concentrated data collection efforts called Registry Weeks. First implemented by US homelessness services as part of campaigns to end homelessnessin US cities, Registry Weeks aim to develop a register of those who are homeless in areas in which homelessness services operate using a common interview schedule. The purpose of the register is for those who are homeless to be known by name and for their housing, health and social needs to be recognised to facilitate the organisation of localservices to assist people into permanent housing with necessary supports.The Australian homelessness services that initiated Registry Weeks in Australia shared the principles of evidence-based responses to homelessness, a focus on Housing First and rapid re-housing approaches, and the development of initiatives informed by robust data and research. The Vulnerability Index (VI) instrument, and following that, the VI-SPDAT (Service Prioritisation Decision Assistance Tool) were used in Registry Week collections as the means of collecting data. Findings from Registry Weeks have assisted agencies to prioritise services to those most in need. In recent times, homelessness agencies have moved away from conducting the VI-SPDAT interviews in set weeks and are now conducting interviews on a rolling basis. Over the seven years that the VI-SPDAT has been administered (2010-2017), 8,618 interviews have been conducted with 8,370 people experiencing homelessness across Australian capital cities and regional centres.The State of Homelessness in Australia’s Cities: A Health and SocialCost Too High represents the first analysis of the consolidated Registry Week data across Australia. The consolidated Registry Week data provides the largest and richest collection of information on people experiencing homelessness in Australian capital and regional cities outside the Census and the national administrative data for homelessness services, the Specialist Homelessness Services Collection.The report aims to:1.Provide a profile of the backgrounds of people experiencing homelessness in Australia.2.Examine the length of time those interviewed have spent homeless and have been without stable accommodation.3.Assess the medical conditions and healthcare needs of those experiencing homelessness, their current use of healthcare, and the accompanying costs to the healthcare system.4.Understand the history of interaction with the justice system of those experiencing homelessness, and their current exposure to harm and risk.5.Examine the financial circumstances of those experiencing homelessness and their social needs.6.Detail in the words of those interviewed what they feel they need in order to be safe and well.7.Provide recommendations for future strategies and studies that aim to inform best practice approaches to ending homelessness in Australia
08/15/2018 - 13:59
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Missed Opportunities: Counting Youth Experiencing Homelessness in America
Missed Opportunities: Counting Youth Experiencing Homelessness in America summarizes key lessons learned from conducting point-in-time counts of youth experiencing homelessness in 22 diverse counties across the United States. Youth counts can provide communities with valuable information about the number and characteristics of youth experiencing homelessness, including information about over-represented groups for whom specialized services might be needed. Additionally, by conducting annual or biennial youth counts, communities can identify changes over time in the local population of youth experiencing homelessness. This brief offers recommendations for conducting successful youth counts based on our experiences conducting counts and insights shared by our partner counties. We hope these recommendations will help more communities conduct youth counts that yield valuable data and drive positive change.
08/15/2018 - 13:48
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Thompson, Manitoba 2018 PiT Count Report
This project was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS). The City of Thompson is the Community Entity (CE) designated by the HPS to report annually on the amount received. The 2014-2019 Community Plan of the Thompson Community Advisory Board (CAB) included the completion of Point in Time (PiT) Homeless Counts in 2015 and 2016 (Thompson Community Advisory Board for Homelessness, 2014). In 2016 the HPS supported coordinated community homeless counts in communities across Canada using the PiT Count methodology. These counts provide vital information to participating communities about their homeless population, and contribute to the understanding of homelessness in Canada. The HPS decided to provide the same support for a 2018 count. Between March and April 2018, over 60 communities across Canada, including Thompson, participated in Everyone Counts - the 2nd HPS Coordinated Point-in-Time Count. The findings from these communities will provide an unprecedented dataset on homelessness in Canada. The Thompson 2018 PiT count was administered through the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Thompson. Faculty members of the University of Manitoba Northern Social Work Program (NSWP) took the lead on designing the count, data analysis and the writing of the report. Twenty-six students of the NSWP, as well as the homeless, partners of this initiative, staff from CMHA and other agencies and community members took the enumeration training and volunteered on the day of the count
08/08/2018 - 12:48
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Social Networks and Substance Use After Transitioning into Permanent Supportive Housing
Substance use disorders are common among persons experiencing homelessness, and research has identified social networks as important correlates of substance use in this population. Permanent supportive housing (PSH), particularly Housing First, which uses a harm reduction model not requiring substance abstinence, is a key solution for ending homelessness. However, conflicting evidence exists regarding the associations between moving into PSH and changes in substance use, and there is limited understanding of how networks may influence such changes. Using observational, longitudinal data from 421 persons before they moved in and over their first year in PSH (collected as part of a HIV-risk study), this paper assesses substance use change (alcohol, marijuana, and illicit drugs) and associations between perceived network characteristics and individual substance use. Substance use remained relatively stable among participants over their first year living in PSH, although illicit substance use reduced somewhat at six months compared to baseline levels (from 18.5%–14.5%) and marijuana use increased slightly at 12 months (from 26.6% at baseline to 32.9%). Substance use among social network members was consistently associated with individual-level substance use, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Specific network substance use characteristics, such as proximity, location met, and social support, had differential relationships with particular substance types. These findings provide longitudinal evidence that changes within substance-using social networks are associated with subsequent changes in individual use and underscore the importance of interventions aimed at promoting positive social relationships for formerly homeless persons and improving PSH’s social environments.
08/08/2018 - 11:09
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Niagara Counts 2018: Homelessness Point-in-Time Count Report
Niagara Counts 2018, Niagara’s second homelessness Point-in-Time (PiT) Count, was conducted in late March 2018. A PiT Count is intended to provide a snapshot of homelessness at a single point in time through a homeless enumeration and an accompanying survey (i.e. collected information on the demographics, experience, and services needs of Niagara’s self-identified homeless population). Niagara’s PiT Count found 625 people to be experiencing homelessness on March 27th, 2018, in emergency and Violence Against Women (VAW) shelters, in transitional housing programs, and in unsheltered locations. This number includes 144 children aged 0-15 years.
08/08/2018 - 10:54
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Striving and Dreaming: A Grounded Theory of the Transition to Adulthood for Cross-Systems Youth
The transition to adulthood is an underresearched topic for cross-systems youth, defined as young people who have experienced homelessness, child welfare system involvement, and educational challenges. This qualitative study explored processes of resilience in the transition to adulthood for cross-systems youth aged 18 to 24 (n = 20). Analysis of in-depth interviews using a grounded theory open coding process revealed two thematic concepts, striving and dreaming. As illustrated in two case studies, striving was characterized by participants having specific educational and career goals and making strategic choices about programs and resources. In contrast, the dreaming concept indicated participants having little understanding of the steps and resources needed to achieve their goals. Implications for practice include the importance of helping cross-systems youth maintain supportive relationships with families of origin and peers to enhance striving, and the use of motivational interviewing to assist emerging adults in gauging their readiness and motivation to set and pursue goals.
08/01/2018 - 11:07
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Homeless Families Research Brief: Child Separation Among Families Experiencing Homelessness
Families who use emergency shelters are more likely than poor, housed families to experience separations between children and their custodial parents (Cowal et al., 2002). Family composition may change over time. For example, a parent may send his or her children to live in what he or she perceives to be a safer environment with relatives or family friends rather than subjecting children to the experience of a shelter. In other cases, child welfare agencies may have removed children from their parent’s custodial care. Compared with housed families in the same city, children who enter emergency shelter are more likely to have a subsequent out-of-family placement (Park et al., 2004; Cowal et al., 2002; Hayes, Zonneville and Bassuk, 2013). A previous brief in this series found that in 24 percent of families staying in shelter, at least one child was separated from the family (Walton, Dunton and Groves, 2017). This brief provides a more detailed examination of these families and their children before and after the initial shelter stay, revealing more extensive and persistent levels of child separation. It gives detailed characteristics of separated children and examines whether future child separation after a shelter stay is related to either housing instability or previous separations.
08/01/2018 - 11:04
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The 2018 Greater Victoria Point-in-Time Count
The PiT Count took place throughout the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), commonly referred to as Greater Victoria. This report uses those two terms interchangeably. There are 13 municipalities and one electoral area that make up the Greater Victoria region. Contact was made with enforcement officials in jurisdictions throughout the region. This year, Sooke actively participated in the PiT Count, with three survey locations and an outdoor/unsheltered survey route.
08/01/2018 - 10:55
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Creating Housing for Youth Victims of Human Trafficking
In Canada, both women and children are the primary victims of human trafficking and are trafficked largely for sexual exploitation. It has been estimated that approximately 800 people are trafficked into Canada annually and another 1,200 to 1,500 are trafficked through Canada. Some social service organizations have estimated that as many as 16,000 Canadians are trafficked annually. While we do not know how many of these are children, it has been estimated, “about 1,300 Canadian children reported ‘missing’ by the RCMP are trafficked annually for sexual activity”.  Toronto has been identified as one of the ‘principle destinations’ or ‘transit points’ for individuals, both foreign nationals and domestic residents, who have been trafficked. Carly Kalish from the All Saints Church Community Centre has seen first-hand human trafficking in Toronto. According to Kalish, human trafficking is happening, “on Church St., in Regent Park and in Dundas Square”. Timea Nagy, founder of Walk With Me Victim Services Organization supports this by saying that human trafficking is occurring in Toronto every day, “Look around at the hotels, motels, restaurants, massage places. Human trafficking is all around you, it’s just not seen”.
07/30/2018 - 10:24
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The Health of Foreign-Born Homeless Families Living in the Family Shelter System
Foreign-born families face challenges following migration to Canada that may impact their well-being and lead them to homelessness. Yet, there is limited research on the experience of homelessness in this population. The purpose of this paper is to examine the health of foreign-born families staying in the emergency shelter system in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and compare their experiences to Canadian-born homeless families who are also living in shelters.
07/24/2018 - 16:59
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Understanding Organizations Serving Runaway and Homeless Youth: A Multi-setting, Multi-perspective Qualitative Exploration
Runaway and homeless youth (RHY) are dependent on the specialized settings that locate, engage, and serve them. Yet, little research has focused on the features of effective settings for RHY. The present qualitative study, grounded in the Youth Program Quality Assessment model, explored characteristics of higher quality organizations for RHY and gaps that remain from staff and RHY perspectives. A total of 29 diverse settings serving RHY in New York State were randomly selected for participation, and ranked on a quantitative program quality index. Within settings, we conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with program administrators (N = 30) and other staff (N = 24). Focus group interviews were conducted with RHY (N = 13 focus groups; N = 84 RHY). Data were analyzed using a systematic content analysis approach that was both theory-driven and inductive, comparing higher to lower quality settings. We found all settings provided vital services and experienced challenges, but higher quality settings ameliorated challenges through (1) a youth-centered program philosophy equally understood by staff and RHY; (2) developmentally appropriate relationships between staff and RHY that promoted autonomy; (3) a focus on short- and long-term goals within anticipated crises; and (4) ongoing internal quality assessment procedures. Within lower quality settings we found (1) difficulties retaining effective staff and (2) a primary focus on basic services and managing crises, but less attention to emotional support, exacerbated by (3) funding and other challenges emerging from the larger environment. The present study extends the literature on organizations for RHY by identifying characteristics of higher quality settings, and challenges that remain.
07/24/2018 - 16:51
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What We Learned About Poverty in B.C.
Between October 30, 2017, and March 31, 2018, government connected with people living in poverty and their friends, families and advocates, as well as community organizations, service providers, local governments, Indigenous communities, businesses, industry associations and unions. This report reflects the voices of people from B.C. who participated in the poverty reduction consultation. They brought forward a wide range of experiences, ideas, opinions, comments and suggestions about how we can reduce poverty, reduce barriers, and build a better B.C. The consultation was designed to give people multiple opportunities to participate. People were encouraged to share their experiences with honesty and openness, and to share their ideas for improvement, without restraint. The intention of holding a broad public engagement process was to ensure that we heard a wide range of ideas, but most importantly, the process was designed to facilitate the participation of people living in poverty whose voices too often go unheard.
07/24/2018 - 16:19
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2018 Alberta Point-in-Time Homeless Count
In February 2017, the Government of Canada announced Everyone Counts 2018, the second HPS Coordinated Pointin-Time Count, to be held between March and April 2018. This Count offers a snapshot of homelessness in each city. Participating communities used a common set of survey questions to improve the understanding of homelessness across Canada. 7 Cities already coordinates biennial Point-in-Time Counts in order to provide a current snapshot of the homeless population in Alberta and to enable examination of how homelessness might change over time. The increasing alignment drives better consistency of data and limited comparability that should improve over time. Ultimately, the information gained from Alberta’s coordinated Point-in-Time Count helps to inform solutions to support the goal of ending homelessness in communities. Communities in Alberta conducted the count on April 11, 2018: the third provincially-coordinated Point-in-Time Count of homelessness to date, and the first nationally-coordinated Point-in-Time Count of homelessness using the national methodology. Implementation was coordinated locally by a lead organization in each of the seven largest communities. The information produced during the Point-in-Time Count is utilized to complement administrative data from the provincial and local Homeless Management Information Systems, information from service providers, and research and evaluation projects to form a more complete picture of homelessness in a given community. In isolation, a Pointin-Time Count is not intended to produce an exact number of people experiencing homelessness as not everyone will be found, and some of those who are approached are not willing to participate. This emphasizes the need for ongoing system data particularly from corrections and health systems to inform planning.
07/24/2018 - 16:13
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Child Poverty by Federal Ridings
For nearly 30 years, Campaign 2000 has documented the failure of good intentions to end poverty. In the lead up to Canada’s first federal Poverty Reduction Strategy, Campaign 2000 reveals a disturbing picture of the magnitude of child poverty in every federal riding. The latest data paint a stark portrait of inequality in Canada with high- and low-income families living in close proximity while divided by wide social and economic gaps that leave too many children hungry, sick and stressed beyond their years. Troublingly, this report shows that the federal ridings with the highest levels of child and family poverty are home to a higher proportion of Indigenous,1 racialized and immigrant communities and lone-parent led families. This correlation signals the persistence of discrimination and systemic inequalities that translates to higher unemployment, lower labour market participation rates and higher proportions of renters and people spending more than 30% of their income on housing. The presence of child and family poverty in every riding in Canada demands strong and decisive federal action through the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). Clearly, every community, every Member of Parliament and all political parties have a stake in the eradication of poverty. Canadians expect a strong strategy that will effectively number poverty’s days, so we can stop counting the number of children in poverty. Child and family poverty is a big problem in Canada and it demands a big response.
07/24/2018 - 16:08
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Housing First: The Role of Permanent Supported Accommodation for People Who Have Experienced Chronic Homelessness 
The objective of this study was to determine whether a ‘housing first’ permanent supported accommodation was effective in improving housing stability, continuity of care and reducing mental health admissions for persons experiencing chronic homelessness with psychosis. Conclusions: The accommodation of chronic homeless persons with psychosis in a ‘housing first’ permanent supported accommodation lead to increased housing stability and optimism, improved continuity of care and reduced psychiatric admissions
07/18/2018 - 18:38
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Understanding Risk Environments in Permanent Supportive Housing for Formerly Homeless Adults
In this study, we used ethnographic methods and a risk environment framework to consider how contextual factors produce or reduce risk for substance use with a sample of 27 adults who recently moved into permanent supportive housing (PSH). Most apparent was how the social and physical environments interacted, because most participants focused on how having an apartment had dramatically changed their lives and how they interact with others. Specific themes that emerged that also involved economic and policy environments included the following: isolation versus social engagement; becoming one’s own caseworker; and engaging in identity work. This study underscores the scarcity yet importance of research that examines the multiple types of environment in which PSH is situated, and suggests that a better understanding of how these environments interact to produce or reduce risk is needed to develop optimal interventions and support services.
07/18/2018 - 18:34
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Exploring Domestic Violence Survivors’ Need for Transitional Housing
Throughout the United States, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner, with women disproportionally more likely to experience fear, concern for their safety, injury, and need for medical care and housing services (Black, Basile, Breiding, Smith, Walters, Merrick, & Stevens, 2011). Research suggests that domestic violence (DV) is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children. The lack of stable housing further increases women’s risk of re-victimization (Jasinski, Wesely, Mustaine, & Wright, 2002; Kannah, Singh, Nemil, & Best, 1992; Wilder Research Center, 2016). The intersection of poverty and DV is particularly impactful to survivors seeking safety and healing from trauma (Sokoloff & Dupont, 2005). Economic burdens, including the need for safe housing, limit survivors’ mobility and options when seeking help after victimization. Historically, DV shelters have been a safe haven for women escaping violence who are also experiencing housing instability or unsafe housing (Baker, Niolon, & Oliphant, 2009; Panchanadeswaran & McCloskey, 2007). A small but compelling body of evidence has established efficacy for core DV services provided by shelters to increase safety, well-being, and economic stability for survivors (Sullivan, 2016; Sullivan & Virden, 2017a, 2017b). However, on average, DV shelters limit the length of stay to 30 or 60 days, with extensions for certain circumstances (NNEDV, 2016; Sullivan & Virden, 2017a). This time frame is unfortunately too short for many survivors to obtain the resources they need to live safely (Sullivan & Virden, 2017b). One approach for DV survivors who require housing assistance and supportive services for a longer period of time is transitional housing (TH). Transitional housing provides an apartment or rental unit, along with rental assistance and supportive services for up to two years, allowing survivors time to work on any barriers they face to securing permanent housing and to heal from the trauma they have experienced (U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, 2015). TH units may be at a single-site with shared facilities such as laundry rooms (facility-based) or units may be scattered sites allowing survivors to live various places in the community. Supportive services are voluntary but tend to include advocacy, educational and financial support, life skills classes, counseling and peer support (Baker et al., 2009). For single-site programs, these services are often offered on-site. Another approach for DV survivors is rapid re-housing (RRH). RRH allows DV survivors to locate their own apartment and to receive rental assistance and supportive services for a period of time. After the rental assistance ends, the survivor can stay in the unit if they can pay the rent on their own. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has stated that “rapid re-housing grant funds may be used to provide short- and/or medium-term rental assistance and accompanying, limited supportive services, as needed, to help an individual or family that is homeless move as quickly as possible into permanent housing and achieve stability in that housing” (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2013, p. 5). Medium assistance is defined as lasting up to 2 years.Exploring Domestic Violence Survivors’ Need for Transitional Housing 2 of 9 While the efficacy of shelter and other DV services have been evaluated in part (see Sullivan, 2016), almost no research has been conducted assessing transitional or rapid rehousing for DV survivors. Therefore, this study explored the ways in which DV survivors experienced a TH program that they were currently enrolled in, as well as their perceptions about whether RRH would have been a good fit for them given different durations of rental assistance and supportive services.
07/18/2018 - 18:31
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Permanent Supportive Housing: Evaluating the Evidence for Improving Health Outcomes Among People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness
Chronic homelessness is a highly complex social problem affecting communities around the country. The scope of the problem is substantial, with an estimated nearly 87,000 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness in 2017. The report addresses a fundamental question: To what extent have permanent supportive housing programs improved health outcomes and affected health care costs in people experiencing homelessness? The report also describes policy and program barriers that affect the ability to bring the permanent supportive housing programs and other housing models to scale to address housing and health care needs. This report will stimulate research and federal action to move the field forward and advance efforts to address chronic homelessness and improved health in this country.
07/18/2018 - 18:17
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National Housing Strategy: 2018 Bilateral Agreements with Provinces and Territories
Provinces and territories deliver and cost-match federal funds from the National Housing Strategy through bilateral agreements with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. These agreements align with the new vision for housing under the National Housing Strategy, and they are more flexible and in line with expected outcomes. Presented below are the new bilateral agreements that have been signed with the provinces and territories.
07/18/2018 - 18:03
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Cancer Screening in the Homeless Population
Annually, 100 million people experience homelessness worldwide. Most adults that are struggling with homelessness are living to age 50 years or older and need age-appropriate screening for cancer. Cancer-related death in homeless adults is twice as high as the average in the adult population in the USA. However, few studies have examined the rates of and barriers to cancer screening in homeless people. This Review explores cancer-related health disparities between homeless people and the general population by providing a review of data and definitions relating to homelessness, an analysis of barriers to screening in this population, and a discussion of the current and potential interventions and strategies to improve cancer screening in homeless individuals. Recommendations include implementing appropriate data collection methods for this population, supporting cancer screening in places where homeless people usually access care, assessing the effectiveness of approaches to increasing cancer screening in homeless people, and addressing adequate housing as a fundamental social factor.
07/11/2018 - 16:14
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The Invisibility of Disability for Homeless Youth
A largely unexplored complexity in the lives of youth who have experienced homeless is the presence of intellectual, developmental and/or learning disabilities. Although emerging research shows that youth with cognitive disabilities are more likely to become homeless and that rates of cognitive disabilities are higher among the homeless population than the population in general, exploring the intersection of disability and homelessness for youth has not been a priority. In this study, a critical disability and systems failure lens is brought to bear on the vulnerability of youth who experience this intersection. Based on interviews with key informants in the disability, homelessness, education, employment and child welfare sectors in three sites in Ontario, Canada, the invisibility of disability among homeless youth is brought to light. We explore the ways youth with a disability in the homelessness sector are made vulnerable, the insurmountable barriers to getting access to the requisite assessment for disability services and the siloed nature of the homelessness and disability service sectors. An argument is made that “working outside the box” to assist youth to navigate significant system disjunctures is insufficient.
07/11/2018 - 16:10
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National Map Project
Communities across Canada are faced with the growing crisis of youth homelessness. Many organizations are operating in isolation of a larger network. This National Map is a dynamic resource that will enable organizations to connect. Each organization on this map have completed a survey that gives a brief overview of their programs and services. The organizational summaries are searchable by: city/town, population size, program/service, organization name.
07/11/2018 - 16:07
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Winnipeg Street Census 2018
The Winnipeg Street Census 2018 marks the second attempt to gain a comprehensive view of homelessness in Winnipeg. In order to end homelessness we need to understand it. The Street Census is not an attempt to count the total number of people experiencing homelessness but provide a snapshot of who is experiencing homelessness, some of the reasons for it and barriers to exiting it. Between April 17 and 18, we surveyed approximately 1500 individuals experiencing homelessness.
07/11/2018 - 16:03
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A Roof Over My Head 2018 Enumeration Report
Information on homelessness is essential to understand the nature and extent of homelessness in the City and County of Peterborough, the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness, to plan services, and measure progress towards ending homelessness. The 2018 Homelessness Enumeration Report provides a profile of homelessness in our community based on the homelessness count and surveys conducted in the City and County of Peterborough from March 20th to March 23rd, 2018.
07/11/2018 - 15:53
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Reliability and Validity of the Vulnerability Index-Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) in real-world implementation
This study examined the reliability and validity of the Vulnerability Index-Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT), a widely-used assessment of the health and social vulnerabilities and housing needs of individuals experiencing homelessness. Homeless Management Information System data were obtained for 1495 individuals who were administered the VI-SPDAT between 2014 and 2016. Subsamples were selected for reliability and validity assessments. Results suggest there are challenges to the reliability and validity of the VI-SPDAT in practical use. VI-SPDAT total scores did not significantly predict risk of return to homeless services, while type of housing was a significant predictor. Vulnerability assessment instruments have important implications for communities working to end homelessness by facilitating prioritization of scarce housing resources. Findings suggest that further testing and development of the VI-SPDAT is necessary.
07/04/2018 - 14:34
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Vancouver Street View
Vancouver Street View is an interactive site where you can see how homelessness has increased in the Greater Vancouver Area. The technology allows users to toggle between Google Street View images taken in the last four years to see how the number of people identifying as homeless has increased across Metro Vancouver.  The site hopes to encourage people to contact their local municipality to show support for social housing in their neighbourhood.
07/04/2018 - 14:00
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Cancer Screening in the Homeless Population
Annually, 100 million people experience homelessness worldwide. Most adults that are struggling with homelessness are living to age 50 years or older and need age-appropriate screening for cancer. Cancer-related death in homeless adults is twice as high as the average in the adult population in the USA. However, few studies have examined the rates of and barriers to cancer screening in homeless people. This Review explores cancer-related health disparities between homeless people and the general population by providing a review of data and definitions relating to homelessness, an analysis of barriers to screening in this population, and a discussion of the current and potential interventions and strategies to improve cancer screening in homeless individuals. Recommendations include implementing appropriate data collection methods for this population, supporting cancer screening in places where homeless people usually access care, assessing the effectiveness of approaches to increasing cancer screening in homeless people, and addressing adequate housing as a fundamental social factor.
07/04/2018 - 11:23
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“School definitely failed me, the system failed me”: Identifying Opportunities to Impact Educational Outcomes for Homeless and Child Welfare-Involved Youth
Children and youth who experience homelessness and child welfare involvement may experience high mobility, disruption of relationships with family and peer networks, and social stigma, all of which can have a negative impact on educational success for these youth. In this study, we explored the perspective of youth who were involved with child welfare and homeless serving systems, and who had experienced school challenges. Youth (n = 20) between the ages of 18 and 24 participated in semi-structured qualitative interviews. Using a life course framework, we asked youth about their experiences in these multiple systems across developmental stages, and asked them to highlight what might have been helpful to their educational outcomes. Data analysis was conducted by a research team of three scholars who each had expertise in these varied systems, and member checking was completed with four youth to increase credibility of the findings. Results highlighted the importance of youth having supportive adults in their lives, suggesting an opportunity for systems to better mobilize and support caring adults, including informal supports and professional staff within these systems that can advocate for youth. Results also stress the importance of using a trauma-informed approach with cross- systems youth, rather than punitive approaches to discipline that tend to exacerbate negative educational outcomes. Many of these youth felt like they had to “make it on their own,” underscoring the need to better connect youth to existing resources within their communities and building on youths' strengths and protective factors, in order to improve educational outcomes for vulnerable youth.
07/04/2018 - 09:09
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Family Care Curriculum: A Parenting Support Program for Families Experiencing Homelessness
In the United States, families with children characterize the fastest growing portion of the homeless population. Parenting for families experiencing homelessness presents unique challenges since families facing homelessness are disproportionately more likely to experience a myriad of interpersonal and contextual stressors that heighten the risk of parents engaging in suboptimal parenting approaches.  This article describes the development and implementation of the Family Care Curriculum (FCC) train-the-trainer parenting support program specifically designed to support positive parenting in families experiencing homelessness. Description The FCC is a 6-week theory-based parenting intervention aimed to create positive shifts in parental attitudes to enhance sensitive and nurturing parenting and positive parent–child relationships. FCC assists parents in reflecting on how their own experiences contribute to some of their parenting beliefs, patterns, and behaviors. Parents are coached to imagine and understand the emotions, attachment, and developmental needs behind their children’s behaviors so they can maintain empathic and nurturing parenting responses in the context of cumulative and chronic stress. Parents are supported through learning to engage in self-care. A unique and important feature of the FCC is the inclusion of a culturally sensitive approach that takes into consideration the effects of racism, classism, and oppression on parent–child relationships. 
07/04/2018 - 09:02
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Factors Associated with Drop-In Center Utilization Among Unaccompanied Youth Experiencing Homelessness
Drop-in centers for homeless youth take a low barrier approach to addressing both their basic needs (e.g., food, hygiene, clothing) and higher level needs (e.g., substance use treatment, mental health care, HIV/STD-related programs). Prior studies indicate that youth who use drop-in centers show improvements in health-related behaviors over time. The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with drop-in center attendance in this population.
07/04/2018 - 08:57
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International Forum Report 2018
During Congress 2018 in April, CHRA hosted an International Forum for which a number of Canadian and international housing experts came together to discuss common issues in social and affordable housing. From that Forum, CHRA has produced a summary report providing an overview of the current state of housing – including broader market housing challenges, jurisdictional reflections, and homelessness – in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
07/04/2018 - 08:50
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A Survey of Mental Disorder in the Long-Term, Rough Sleeping, Homeless Population of Inner Dublin
ObjectivesHomelessness causes huge distress to a vulnerable population and great concern to wider society. The aim of this study was to reflect the prevalence of mental disorder within a subset of the homeless population in Dublin. MethodLong-term rough sleepers in Dublin were identified by the relevant non-statutory agency (Dublin Simon Community’s Rough Sleepers Team). The authors attempted to assess all the identified individuals employing traditional clinical methods. ResultsWe managed to assess 16 of the 22 identified individuals. We detected no formal disorder in ~30%, severe mental illness in ~30% and either alcohol or substance misuse in another ~30%. We detected dual diagnosis (co-occurrence of severe mental illness and alcohol or substance misuse) in 10%. ConclusionMost but not all long-term rough sleepers in Dublin had a formal mental disorder identified. Just under one-third had a severe mental illness. This suggests that individualised patient centred health and social care will be required on a case by case basis in the long-term rough sleeping population.
06/26/2018 - 15:26
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A Shared Housing Agenda: Priorities for Ontario in 2018
Ontario has a housing crisis that affects people of diverse ages, income levels, family types, and cultural backgrounds. Affordable housing of decent quality is essential for the health and wellbeing of Ontarians. Some of the most critical barriers to safe and affordable housing are intersectional, especially around gender and racial discrimination. Young millennials getting by on low-paid or contract work struggle to find an affordable apartment, or to save for a home. Newcomers face similar barriers. People living on low wages, pensions or benefits, or in precarious jobs, find few options they can afford. People with disabilities – physical, mental health, age-related, or other – have particular needs not being met by the current housing system. People from racialized communities experience compound disadvantage in the housing market, and also discrimination. The same is true for Indigenous, Métis and Inuit communities. These issues require provincial leadership. Ontario can help make sure our housing market works well. It can help people who are struggling to afford market rental or to leave homelessness behind. In a province with escalating housing costs, housing supply shortfalls, but strong economic growth, it is time for action. Building on the opportunity the National Housing Strategy provides, action by Ontario can support local activity to meet community needs. Six housing priorities stand out for Ontario in 2018. These have been identified by the organizations named on this document. They are not listed in order of priority, and action is needed on all of them to meet the housing needs of Ontarians. In sum, this housing crisis is not inevitable. With action and alliances, Ontario can help create a system of housing that meets the needs of community, especially those who are disproportionately more vulnerable than others.
06/26/2018 - 15:11
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Moving Forward: Recommendations for Community Action
MOVING FORWARD – Recommendations for Community Action is the outcome of Community Conversations on Poverty in Hastings and Prince Edward counties, in which more than 500 community members came together to talk about poverty - their experience of it, what is working, what isn’t and how to end it. This is the SECOND report in a series of reports informed by the Community Conversations. The rst report LEANING IN – Community Conversations on Poverty in Hastings Prince Edward, is a summary of the stories we heard in the conversations. This action planning document, which will guide planning and future considerations for the eradication of poverty in our community, is the second community report on poverty.
06/13/2018 - 14:58
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Temporary Accommodation in Scotland: Interim Report
On behalf of HARSAG, Social Bite (an Edinburgh-based social enterprise with a mission to end homelessness in Scotland, whose co-founder Josh Littlejohn is a member of HARSAG) commissioned Heriot-Watt University’s Institute for Social Policy, Housing and Equalities Research (I-SPHERE) to conduct research mapping the current landscape, with a view to enabling an assessment of the nature of the transformation to TA in Scotland now required. The overall aim of the study is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the current situation, including key stakeholder and TA resident perspectives, to inform future policy development. This interim report details emerging findings from the initial stages of the study, these being: a review of existing research and literature; qualitative interview with 16 expert key informants; and analysis of national statistics on TA type and usage.
06/13/2018 - 14:53
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Clinical and functional characteristics of young adults living in single room occupancy housing: preliminary findings from a 10-year longitudinal stud
Objective Young adults living in single room occupancy (SRO) hotels, a form of low-income housing, are known to have complex health and substance problems compared to their peers in the general population. The objective of this study is to comprehensively describe the mental, physical, and social health profile of young adults living in SROs.  Methods This study reports baseline data from young adults aged 18–29 years, as part of a prospective cohort study of adults living in SROs in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Baseline and follow-up data were collected from 101 young adults (median follow-up period 1.9 years [IQR 1.0–3.1]). The comprehensive assessment included laboratory tests, neuroimaging, and clinician- and patient-reported measures of mental, physical, and social health and functioning.  Results Three youth died during the preliminary follow-up period, translating into a higher than average mortality rate (18.6, 95% CI 6.0, 57.2) compared to age- and sex-matched Canadians. High prevalence of interactions with the health, social, and justice systems was reported. Participants were living with median two co-occurring illnesses, including mental, neurological, and infectious diseases. Greater number of multimorbid illnesses was associated with poorer real-world functioning (ρ = − 0.373, p < 0.001). All participants reported lifetime alcohol and cannabis use, with pervasive use of stimulants and opioids.  Conclusion This study reports high mortality rates, multimorbid illnesses, poor functioning, poverty, and ongoing unmet mental health needs among young adults living in SROs. Frequent interactions with the health, social, and justice systems suggest important points of intervention to improve health and functional trajectories of this vulnerable population.
06/13/2018 - 14:49
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