3.4 Building Research Capacity to Improve Services for the Homeless: An Integrated Community-academic Partnership Model

3.4 Building Research Capacity to Improve Services for the Homeless: An Integrated Community-academic Partnership Model

Since 2011, the Old Brewery Mission (OBM) has been engaged in a partnership with the McGill University Social Development Research Group. The purpose of the partnership is to merge the analytical expertise from a third-party academic institution to the homelessness expertise of a service-driven not-for-profit organization to build research capacity, better understand the homeless population served and improve on service models offered. This paper describes the need for place-based knowledge and the role of new technologies to facilitate partnership. It also describes the OBM-McGill integrated partnership model and analyzes its successes and challenges.

This integrated community-academic partnership model is an ideal example of improving the systems-level response to homelessness by creating a regular feedback loop at the community level. Not only does it provide evidence that services are meeting the needs of the homeless population, but it also creates a culture of research that encourages critical thinking, the examination of biases and the desire to constantly improve. 

EDITOR: Naomi Nichols; Carey Doberstein
PUBLISHER: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness
PUBLICATION DATE: 2016
LOCATION: Montréal, Québec, Canada

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